Cost-effectiveness of early intervention with once-daily budesonide in children with mild persistent asthma: Results from the START study

Kevin Weiss*, Martin Buxton, Fredrik L. Andersson, Carl Johan Lamm, Bengt Liljas, Sean D. Sullivan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The inhaled Steroid Treatment As Regular Therapy in early asthma (START) study has shown that early intervention with inhaled budesonide in mild persistent asthma improves clinical outcomes in both adults and children. The aim of this study was to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of early treatment with budesonide Turbuhaler in children aged 5-10 yr who participated in START. Direct and indirect costs associated with asthma were determined for 1974 children participating in the double-blind, 3-year part of the study. Randomization was to placebo or to budesonide 200 μg once daily in each case in addition to usual asthma care. Cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated from the healthcare payer's and societal perspectives (using US prices). The addition of once-daily budesonide therapy to usual asthma care was associated with 16 additional symptom-free days (SFDs) per child over the 3-yr period (p < 0.001), with a substantial reduction (50%) in the mean number of days spent in hospital, and with reduced frequency of emergency room visits and missed school and caregiver work days. From the healthcare payer's perspective (direct costs), the increase in mean direct cost over 3 yr with budesonide was $169, which translated into an incremental cost of early intervention with budesonide in children of $10.50 (95% CI $1.20-33.30) per SFD gained. From the societal perspective, there was a cost reduction over 3 yr of $192 with budesonide relative to placebo. From a societal perspective, budesonide was therefore dominant. In conclusion, early intervention with once-daily budesonide added to usual asthma care in children with mild persistent asthma is cost-saving from a societal perspective and is acceptably cost-effective when viewed from a healthcare payer perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue numberSUPPL. 17
StatePublished - May 1 2006


  • Asthma
  • Budesonide
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Early intervention
  • Health outcomes
  • Paediatric
  • Steroid as regular therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cost-effectiveness of early intervention with once-daily budesonide in children with mild persistent asthma: Results from the START study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this