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Budget impact of next-generation sequencing for diagnosis of TB drug resistance in Moldova

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BACKGROUND Diagnosing drug resistance is critical for choosing effective TB treatment regimens. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) represents an alternative approach to conventional phenotypic drug susceptibility testing (pDST) for diagnosing TB drug resistance.

METHODS We undertook a budget impact analysis estimating the costs of introduction and routine use of NGS in the Moldovan National TB Programme. We conducted an empirical costing study and collated price and operating characteristics for NGS platforms. We examined multiple NGS scenarios in comparison to the current approach (pDST) for pre-treatment drug resistance testing over 2021–2025.

RESULTS Annual testing volume ranged from 912 to 1,926 patients. For the pDST scenario, we estimated total costs of US$362,000 (2021 USD) over the 5-year study period. Total costs for NGS scenarios ranged from US$475,000 to US$1,486,000. Lowest cost NGS options involved targeted sequencing as a replacement for pDST, and excluded individuals diagnosed as RIF-susceptible on Xpert® MTB/RIF. For all NGS scenarios, the majority (55–80%) of costs were devoted to reagent kits. Start-up costs of NGS were small relative to routine costs borne each year.

CONCLUSION NGS adoption will require expanded resources compared to conventional pDST. Further work is required to better understand the feasibility of NGS in settings such as Moldova.

Keywords: cost; financial; genomic sequencing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Global Health and Population Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA 2: Institute of Phthisiopneumology, Chisinau, Moldova 3: Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA 4: Translational Genomics Research Institute, Flagstaff, AZ, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2022

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