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Free Content Cost-utility analysis of LED fluorescence microscopy in the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis in Indian settings

BACKGROUND: With support from the Stop TB Partnership's TB REACH Wave 2 Grant, diagnostic microscopy services for tuberculosis (TB) were upgraded from conventional Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) based sputum microscopy to light emitting diode technology-based fluorescence microscopy (LED FM) in 200 high-workload microscopy centres in India as a pilot intervention.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of LED-FM over conventional ZN microscopy to inform further scale-up.

METHODS: A decision-tree model was constructed to assess the cost utility of LED FM over ZN microscopy. The results were summarised using incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER); one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were also conducted to address uncertainty within the model. Data were analysed from 200 medical colleges in 2011 and 2012, before and after the introduction of LED microscopes. A full costing analysis was carried out from the perspective of a national TB programme.

RESULTS: The ICER was calculated at US$14.64 per disability-adjusted life-year, with an 82% probability of being cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold equivalent to Indian gross domestic product per capita.

CONCLUSIONS: LED FM is a cost-effective intervention for detecting TB cases in India at high-workload medical college settings.

Keywords: ICER; LED FM sensitivity; TB diagnostic intervention; cost effectiveness

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), South-East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, India 2: Independent Public Health Consultant, Cherambadi, Tamil Nadu, India

Publication date: June 1, 2015

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