Cost-effectiveness of an intervention to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected patients

Kenneth A. Freedberg*, Lisa R. Hirschhorn, Bruce R. Schackman, Lindsey L. Wolf, Lindsay A. Martin, Milton C. Weinstein, Susan Goldin, A. David Paltiel, Carol Katz, Sue J. Goldie, Elena Losina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Adherence to antiretroviral medications has been shown to be an important factor in predicting viral suppression and clinical outcomes. The objective of this analysis was to assess the cost-effectiveness of a nursing intervention on antiretroviral adherence using data from a randomized controlled clinical trial as input to a computer-based simulation model of HIV disease. For a cohort of HIV-infected patients similar to those in the clinical trial (mean initial CD4 count of 319 cells/mm), implementing the nursing intervention in addition to standard care yielded a 63% increase in virologic suppression at 48 weeks. This produced increases in expected survival (from 94.5 to 100.9 quality-adjusted life months) and estimated discounted direct lifetime medical costs ($253,800 to $261,300). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for the intervention was $14,100 per quality-adjusted life year gained compared with standard care. Adherence interventions with modest effectiveness are likely to provide long-term survival benefit to patients and to be cost-effective compared with other uses of HIV care funds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S113-S118
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • AIDS
  • Adherence
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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