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BACKGROUND: Recent asthma guidelines for children 6-11 years with persistent asthma advocate three alternatives: SMART (budesonide/formoterol 80/4.5 mcg qd plus additional doses as needed), fixed combination of budesonide/formoterol, and fixed-dose budesonide. Concerns have arisen as to which of the proposed alternatives has the best possible cost-effectiveness profile. This study aimed to assess the health and economic consequences of SMART, fixed combination, and fixed-dose budesonide therapy in children 6-11 years old with persistent asthma. METHODS: A probabilistic Markov model was created to estimate the cost and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) of patients with persistent asthma. Total costs and QALYs of SMART, fixed combination, and fixed-dose budesonide therapy were calculated over a time horizon of 6 years. Multiple sensitivity analyses were conducted. RESULTS: The mean QALY per patient was 0.57 and 0.56 QALYs per patient per year of SMART and fixed combination and 0,52 with fixed-dose budesonide. The total mean of discounted costs per patient per cycle were US$111 for SMART, US$133 for fixed combination, and US$67 for fixed-dose budesonide. The net monetary benefit of SMART was US$12,549, US$12278 for fixed combination, and US$11,380 for fixed-dose budesonide. CONCLUSION: Our study showed that SMART was more cost-effective than fixed combination and fixed-dose budesonide. These findings complement and support the GINA 2021 and National Asthma Education and Prevention Program asthma guideline recommendations for use of inhaled corticosteroids-formoterol in children 6-11 years old with persistent asthma.

Original publication




Journal article


J Asthma

Publication Date





761 - 768


Budesonide–formoterol, Markov model, cost-effectiveness analysis, decision analysis, uncontrolled asthma, Humans, Child, Asthma, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Bronchodilator Agents, Ethanolamines, Drug Combinations, Budesonide, Formoterol Fumarate, Anti-Asthmatic Agents, Administration, Inhalation