Global Health & Medicine 2020;2(6):388-391.
Cost-effectiveness of bronchial thermoplasty for severe asthmatic patients in Japan
Matsumoto S, Iikura M, Kusaba Y, Katsuno T, Tsujimoto Y, Kakuwa T, Matsubayashi S, Nagano N, Sakamoto K, Hashimoto M, Ishii S, Suzuki M, Naka G, Izumi S, Takeda Y, Hojo M, Sugiyama H
Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) is an interventional endoscopic treatment for severe bronchial asthma. Some studies have shown the clinical efficacy of this intervention, but its cost-effectiveness is unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of BT. We collected data from the medical records of 16 Japanese patients who were treated with BT between February 2015 and April 2017, and compared asthma-related medical expenses between the year preceding and the year following BT. Four patients were Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) treatment step 4, and 12 were step 5. In 8 patients who had a successful response to BT, the annual asthmarelated medical expenses decreased because of a reduction in hospitalization and emergency outpatient visits due to asthma attacks, and termination of the use of biologics. Most patients in the non-responder group had increased asthma-related medical costs postoperatively. The main reason for the increase in medical costs was the add-on treatment of biologics. BT was cost-effective in the responder group. If its effects continue for more than 10 years, BT will be a cost-effective treatment. Medical costs will be reduced if those who respond to BT can be identified prior to commencement of treatment.