The Cost-effectiveness and Budget Impact of 2-Drug Dolutegravir-Lamivudine Regimens for the Treatment of HIV Infection in the United States

Michael P. Girouard, Paul E. Sax, Robert A. Parker, Babafemi Taiwo, Kenneth A. Freedberg, Roy M. Gulick, Milton C. Weinstein, A. David Paltiel, Rochelle P. Walensky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background. Recommended human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment regimens in the United States contain 3 antiretroviral agents, costing >$30 000/person/year. Pilot studies are evaluating the efficacy of dual therapy with dolutegravir (DTG) and lamivudine (3TC). We examined the potential cost-effectiveness and budget impact of DTG + 3TC regimens in the United States. Methods. Using a mathematical model, we projected the clinical and economic outcomes of antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naive patients under 4 strategies: (1) no ART (for modeling comparison); (2) 2-drug: initial regimen of DTG + 3TC; (3) induction-maintenance: 48-week induction regimen of 3 drugs (DTG/abacavir [ABC]/3TC), followed by DTG + 3TC maintenance if virologically suppressed; and (4) standard of care: 3-drug regimen of DTG/ABC/3TC. Strategy-dependent model inputs, varied widely in sensitivity analyses, included 48-week virologic suppression (88%-93%), subsequent virologic failure (0.1%-0.6%/month), and Medicaid-discounted ART costs ($15 200-$39 600/year). A strategy was considered cost-effective if its incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was <$100 000/quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). Results. The 3 ART strategies had the same 5-year survival rates (90%). The ICER was $22 500/QALY for induction-maintenance and >$500 000/QALY for standard of care. Two-drug was the preferred strategy only when DTG + 3TC 48-week virologic suppression rate exceeded 90%. With 50% uptake of either induction-maintenance or 2-drug for ART-naive patients, cost savings totaled $550 million and $800 million, respectively, within 5 years; savings reached >$3 billion if 25% of currently suppressed patients were switched to DTG + 3TC maintenance. Conclusions. Should DTG + 3TC demonstrate high rates of virologic suppression, this regimen will be cost-effective and would save >$500 million in ART costs in the United States over 5 years. 2015 The Author 2015.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)784-791
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 10 2015


  • ART
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Dolutegravir
  • HIV
  • Lamivudine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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