Advanced Wound Therapy Device

Cost-effectiveness of using intermittent pneumatic compression to manage hard-to-heal venous leg ulcers in the UK

Prof Julian Guest, Journal of Wound Care July 2021

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Objective: To estimate whether thigh-administered intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) 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).

Method: A Markov model was constructed depicting the management of hard-to-heal VLUs with IPC plus standard care or standard care alone over a period of 24 weeks. 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.

Results: Treatment of hard-to-heal VLUs with IPC plus standard care instead of standard care alone is expected to increase the probability of healing by 58% (from 0.24 to 0.38) at 24 weeks and increase health-related quality of life over 24 weeks from 0.32 to 0.34 QALYs per patient. Additionally, the cost of treating with IPC plus standard care (£3,020 per patient) instead of standard care alone (£3,037 per patient) has the potential to be cost-neutral if use of this device is stopped after 6 weeks in non-improving wounds. Sensitivity analysis showed that the relative cost-effectiveness of IPC plus standard care remains <£20,000 per QALY with plausible variations in costs and effectiveness.

Conclusion: Within the limitations of this study, the addition of IPC to standard care potentially affords a cost-effective treatment to the NHS for managing hard-to-heal VLUs. However, a controlled study is required to validate the outcomes of this analysis.