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  1. Dougherty, Edward J. MS


OBJECTIVE: A cost-effectiveness analysis compared the potential economic benefit of an autologous, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) gel to alternative therapies in treating nonhealing diabetic foot ulcers.


DESIGN: An economic model used peer-reviewed data to simulate clinical and cost outcomes and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) associated with PRP gel and other treatment modalities.


PATIENTS: The model varies rates of healing, recurrence, infection, amputation, death, and associated costs for a hypothetical group of 200,000 patients with full-thickness, nonhealing diabetic foot ulcers for 5 years or until death.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The model simulates the clinical, cost, and QALY outcomes associated with PRP gel versus other modalities in treating nonhealing diabetic foot ulcers over a 5-year period.


MAIN RESULTS: The average 5-year direct wound care cost per modality and QALYs were PRP gel, $15,159 (2.87); saline gel, $33,214 (2.70); standard of care, $40,073 (2.65); noncontact kilohertz ultrasound therapy, $32,659 (2.73); human fibroblast-derived dermal substitute, $40,569 (2.65); allogenic bilayered culture skin substitute, $24,374 (2.79); bilayered cellular matrix, $37,340 (2.71); negative pressure wound therapy, $20,964 (2.81); and recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor BB, $47,252 (2.69).


CONCLUSION: Use of PRP gel resulted in improved quality of life and lower cost of care over a 5-year period than other treatment modalities for nonhealing diabetic foot ulcers. Although actual treatment outcomes may differ from those modeled, PRP gel represents a potentially attractive treatment alternative for insurers and health care providers to address the cost burden and health effects of nonhealing diabetic foot ulcers.