Value Health Reg Issues 2019 Apr 16;19:51-58. Epub 2019 Apr 16.
HTA Office, L.L.C., Cairo, Egypt; Pharmacy Practice Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Heliopolis University, Cairo, Egypt. Electronic address:
Introduction: To assess the cost-effectiveness of introducing the safety-engineered syringe (SES) to decrease hepatitis C burden resultant from unsafe injection practices in healthcare settings.
Methods: A Markov process model for a hypothetical study cohort was developed over a 30-year time horizon to compare the adoption of SES use with the current strategy, conventional syringes (CS), in the Egyptian healthcare settings. The national treatment program was applied in both groups. Health benefits and total direct medical costs were estimated in both strategies.
Results: The SES use demonstrated a reduction in the burden of injection-associated HCV infection because of unsafe practices in the Egyptian healthcare settings. The probability of HCV infection was 1.4% in the SES group and 40% in the CS group. Adoption of the SES use averted 177 hepatitis C cases and 157 hepatitis C-related deaths per 10 000 individuals. Introducing SES as a preventive strategy resulted in better quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) (difference; 0.95 QALYs) and lower costs (difference; $-1712).
Conclusions: Adoption of SES in the Egyptian healthcare settings is a more effective and cost-saving strategy. Our results are consistent with the WHO Injection Safety Program and Safe Injection Global Network initiatives, which call for adoption of smart syringes. The introduction of SES as one of the most urgently needed interventions is mostly encouraged to decrease hepatitis C burden in similar resource-limited settings. The use of SES as a prevention strategy may bring substantial population-level health gains and governmental cost savings in developing countries.