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Analysis of the Budget Impact of Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide Monitoring in the Management of Childhood Asthma: The Colombian National Health System Perspective

Buendía JA1, Acuña-Cordero R2, Rodriguez-Martinez CE3

1Departamento de Farmacología y Toxicología, Facultad de Medicina, Grupo de Investigación en Farmacología y Toxicología, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia
2Departamento de Neumología Pediátrica, Hospital Militar Central, Departamento de Pediatría, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, Bogotá, Colombia
3Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2022; Vol 32(3) : 200-205
doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0690

Background: Fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) testing is a simple, noninvasive approach to assessing airway inflammation with minimal discomfort that provides results within a few minutes. For policy makers, the economic impact of this technology is the main concern, especially in developing countries. We evaluated the budget impact of asthma management using FeNO monitoring in patients aged between 4 and 18 years in Colombia.
Methods: A budget impact analysis was performed to evaluate the potential cost of FeNO monitoring. The analysis was based on a 5-year time horizon and performed from the perspective of the Colombian National Health System. The incremental budget impact was calculated by subtracting the cost of the new treatment, in which FeNO is reimbursed, from the cost of conventional treatment without FeNO (management based on clinical symptoms [with or without spirometry/peak flow] or asthma guidelines [or both] for asthma-related cases). Univariate 1-way sensitivity analyses were performed.
Results: In the base case analysis the 5-year costs associated with FeNO and non-FeNO were estimated to be €469 904 130 and €480 485 149, respectively, indicating savings for the Colombian National Health System of €10 581 019 if FeNO is adopted for the routine management of patients with persistent asthma. This result proved to be robust in the univariate 1-way sensitivity analysis.
Conclusion: FeNO monitoring generated cost savings in emergency settings for infants with persistent asthma. This evidence can be used by decision makers in Colombia to improve clinical practice guidelines and should be replicated to validate the results in other middle-income countries.

Key words: Fractional exhaled nitric oxide, Colombia, Persistent asthma