Evaluating the long-term cost-effectiveness of the English NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme using a Markov Model

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In 2016, England launched the largest nationwide diabetes prevention programme, the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP). This paper seeks to evaluate the long-term cost-effectiveness of this programme.

A Markov cohort state transition model was developed with a 35 year time horizon and yearly cycles to compare referral to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme to usual care for individuals with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia. The modelled cohort of individuals mirrored the age profile of referrals received by the programme by April 2020. A health system perspective was taken, with costs in UK £ Sterling (price year 2020) and outcomes in terms of Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs). Probabilistic analysis with 10,000 Monte Carlo simulations was used. Several sensitivity analyses were conducted to explore the uncertainty surrounding the base case results, particularly varying the length of time for which the effectiveness of the programme was expected to last.

In the base case, using only the observed effectiveness of the NHS DPP at three years, it was found that the programme is likely to dominate usual care, by generating on average 40.8 incremental QALYs whilst saving £135,755 in costs for a cohort of 1,000. At a willingness to pay of £20,000 per QALY, 98.1% of simulations were on or under the willingness to pay threshold. Scaling this up to the number of referrals actually received by the NHS DPP prior to April 2020, cost savings of £71.4 million were estimated over the 35 year time horizon and an additional 21,472 QALYs generated. These results are robust to several sensitivity analyses.

The NHS DPP is likely to be cost-effective. Indeed in the majority of the simulations, the NHS DPP was cost-saving and generated greater QALYs, dominating usual care. This research should serve as evidence to support the continued investment or recommissioning of diabetes prevention programmes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPharmacoEconomics - Open
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 Mar 2024


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