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To estimate whether the topical debriding agent, Debrichem, could potentially afford the UK's National Health Service (NHS) a cost-effective intervention for the management of hard-to-heal venous leg ulcers (VLUs). A Markov model was constructed depicting the management of hard-to-heal VLUs with Debrichem plus standard care (SC) or SC alone over a period of 12 months. The model was populated with inputs from an indirect comparison of two propensity score-matched cohorts. The model estimated the cost-effectiveness of the two interventions in terms of the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained at 2019/20 prices. Addition of Debrichem to a SC protocol to treat hard-to-heal VLUs was found to increase the probability of healing by 75% (from 0.35 to 0.61) by 12 months, and to increase health-related quality of life over 12 months from 0.74 to 0.84 QALYs per patient. The 12-month cost of treatment with Debrichem plus SC (£3128 per patient) instead of SC alone (£7195 per patient) has the potential to reduce the total NHS cost of wound management by up to 57%. Hence, Debrichem was estimated to improve health outcomes for less cost. Sensitivity analysis showed that Debrichem plus SC remained a cost-effective (dominant) treatment with plausible variations in costs and effectiveness. Within the limitations of the study, the addition of Debrichem to a SC protocol potentially affords a cost-effective treatment to the NHS for managing hard-to-heal VLUs.


Julian F Guest, Valter Deanesi, Arrigo Segalla. Cost-effectiveness of Debrichem in managing hard-to-heal venous leg ulcers in the UK. Journal of wound care. 2022 Jun 02;31(6):480-491

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PMID: 35678784

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