The Cost-Effectiveness of Personalized Genetic Medicine
The case of genetic testing in neonatal diabetes
- Siri Atma W. Greeley, MD, PHD1,
- Priya M. John, MPH2,
- Aaron N. Winn, MPP3,
- Joseph Ornelas, MS, AM, DC2,
- Rebecca B. Lipton, PHD1,
- Louis H. Philipson, MD, PHD1,4,
- Graeme I. Bell, PHD4 and
- Elbert S. Huang, MD, MPH2
- 1Department of Pediatrics, Section of Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
- 2Department of Medicine, Section of General Internal Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
- 3ideas42, Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- 4Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
- Corresponding author: Siri Atma W. Greeley, .
OBJECTIVE Neonatal diabetes mellitus is a rare form of diabetes diagnosed in infancy. Nearly half of patients with permanent neonatal diabetes have mutations in the genes for the ATP-sensitive potassium channel (KCNJ11 and ABCC8) that allow switching from insulin to sulfonylurea therapy. Although treatment conversion has dramatic benefits, the cost-effectiveness of routine genetic testing is unknown.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We conducted a societal cost-utility analysis comparing a policy of routine genetic testing to no testing among children with permanent neonatal diabetes. We used a simulation model of type 1 diabetic complications, with the outcome of interest being the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER, $/quality-adjusted life-year [QALY] gained) over 30 years of follow-up.
RESULTS In the base case, the testing policy dominated the no-testing policy. The testing policy was projected to bring about quality-of-life benefits that enlarged over time (0.32 QALYs at 10 years, 0.70 at 30 years) and produced savings in total costs that were present as early as 10 years ($12,528 at 10 years, $30,437 at 30 years). Sensitivity analyses indicated that the testing policy would remain cost-saving as long as the prevalence of the genetic defects remained >3% and would retain an ICER <$200,000/QALY at prevalences between 0.7 and 3%.
CONCLUSIONS Genetic testing in neonatal diabetes improves quality of life and lowers costs. This paradigmatic case study highlights the potential economic impact of applying the concepts of personalized genetic medicine to other disorders in the future.
This article contains Supplementary Data online at http://care.diabetesjournals.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.2337/dc10-1616/-/DC1.
- Received August 21, 2010.
- Accepted December 28, 2010.
- © 2011 by the American Diabetes Association.
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