Economic evaluation of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis strategies: Protocol for a methodological systematic review and quantitative synthesis

Kednapa Thavorn, Howsikan Kugathasan, Darrell H.S. Tan, Nasheed Moqueet, Stefan D. Baral, Becky Skidmore, Derek MacFadden, Anna Simkin, Sharmistha Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with antiretrovirals is an efficacious and effective intervention to decrease the risk of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) acquisition. Yet drug and delivery costs prohibit access in many jurisdictions. In the absence of guidelines for the synthesis of economic evaluations, we developed a protocol for a systematic review of economic evaluation studies for PrEP by drawing on best practices in systematic reviews and the conduct and reporting of economic evaluations. We aim to estimate the incremental cost per health outcome of PrEP compared with placebo, no PrEP, or other HIV prevention strategies; assess the methodological variability in, and quality of, economic evaluations of PrEP; estimate the incremental cost per health outcome of different PrEP implementation strategies; and quantify the potential sources of heterogeneity in outcomes. Methods: We will systematically search electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase) and the gray literature. We will include economic evaluation studies that assess both costs and health outcomes of PrEP in HIV-uninfected individuals, without restricting language or year of publication. Two reviewers will independently screen studies using predefined inclusion criteria, extract data, and assess methodological quality using the Philips checklist, Second Panel on the Cost-effectiveness of Health and Medicines, and the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research recommendations. Outcomes of interest include incremental costs and outcomes in natural units or utilities, cost-effectiveness ratios, and net monetary benefit. We will perform descriptive and quantitative syntheses using sensitivity analyses of outcomes by population subgroups, HIV epidemic settings, study designs, baseline intervention contexts, key parameter inputs and assumptions, type of outcomes, economic perspectives, and willingness to pay values. Discussion: Findings will guide future economic evaluation of PrEP strategies in terms of methodological and knowledge gaps, and will inform decisions on the efficient integration of PrEP into public health programs across epidemiologic and health system contexts. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42016038440.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number47
JournalSystematic reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 2018


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • HIV prevention
  • HIV transmission models
  • Health economic evaluation
  • Mathematical models
  • Methodological quality
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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