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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 100-103

Pharmacoeconomics of treatment options for hyperthyroidism: The Ibadan experience

1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State; Department of Chemical Pathology, College of Medicine, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
John Enyi Ejeh
Department of Nuclear Medicine, University College Hospital, PMB 5116 Dugbe Postoffice, Ibadan, Oyo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-0354.159525

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Objective: Hyperthyroidism is treated with anti-thyroid drugs (ATD), radioactive iodine and surgery. Debate is ongoing over which treatment option is better in terms of producing long term remission and production of fewer side effects. The cost of each option must be considered as well. Therefore, in this study, we analyzed the outcome and actual cost of treatment of patients with hyperthyroidism at our center to see which treatment modality is better. Materials and Methods: Retrospective analysis of patients' treatment records from Jan 2007 to December 2012 was carried out. 52 subjects were considered. We determined the cost of serum thyroid function tests (TSH, FT4 and FT3), hospital visit or hospitalization where necessary, pertechnetate scan, RAI therapy, ATDs and surgery in US Dollars (US$). To calculate the costs of each treatment modality, we analyzed the number of visits during this period, the laboratory data and the drugs needed. Results: All the 52 patients had received initial treatment with thionamides. 12 patients (23.1%) had subtotal thyroidectomy before coming for RAI therapy. Results showed that 12 months following RAI, 32 patients were hypothyroid and 17 became euthyroid and only 3 remained hyperthyroid; giving a remission of about 94.3%. The total average cost of treatment with lifelong ATD for average of 20 years is $1200; the mean total cost of surgery is $1500, while RAI therapy cost an average of $1000. Conclusion: In our environment the most cost effective treatment option for hyperthyroidism is RAI hence, we recommend it as first line in suitable patients.

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