Sam Harper, Lukasz Grodzicki, Stuart Mealing, Elizabeth Gemmill, Paul Goldsmith, Ahmed Ahmed

Budget Impact of RefluxStop™ as a Treatment for Patients with Refractory Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease in the United Kingdom

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy

Background: Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition associated with heartburn and regurgitation. Standard of care for GORD patients in the UK involves initial treatment with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and laparoscopic antireflux surgery in patients unwilling to continue or intolerant of long-term PPI treatment. Recently, RefluxStop™, a novel, implantable medical device, has proven to be an efficacious and cost-effective treatment for patients with GORD. The current analysis aimed to describe the budget impact of introducing RefluxStop™ within National Health Service (NHS) England and Wales. Objectives: To estimate the more immediate, short-term clinical and economic effects of introducing RefluxStop™ as a therapeutic option for patients with GORD treated within NHS England and Wales. Methods: A model adherent to international best practice guidelines was developed to estimate the budget impact of introducing RefluxStop™ over a 5-year time horizon, from an NHS perspective. Two hypothetical scenarios were considered, one without RefluxStop™ (comprising PPI treatment, laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication, and magnetic sphincter augmentation using the LINX® system) and one with RefluxStop™ (adding RefluxStop™ to the aforementioned treatment options). Clinical benefits and costs associated with each intervention were included in the analysis. Results: Over 5 years, introducing RefluxStop™ allowed the avoidance of 347 surgical failures, 39 reoperations, and 239 endoscopic esophageal dilations. The financial impact of introducing RefluxStop™ was £3 029 702 in year 5, corresponding to a 1.68% increase in annual NHS spending on GORD treatment in England and Wales. Discussion: While the time horizon was too short to capture some of the adverse events of PPIs and complications of GORD, such as the development of Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer, the use of RefluxStop™ was associated with a substantial reduction in surgical complications, including surgical failures, reoperations, and endoscopic esophageal dilations. This favorable clinical profile resulted in cost offsets for the NHS and contributed to the marginal budget impact of RefluxStop™ estimated in the current analysis. Conclusions: Introducing RefluxStop™ as a treatment option for patients with GORD in England and Wales may be associated with clinical benefits at the expense of a marginal budget impact on the NHS.

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