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The cost-effectiveness of ivermectin vs. albendazole in the presumptive treatment of strongyloidiasis in immigrants to the United States

  • P. MUENNIG (a1), D. PALLIN (a2), C. CHALLAH (a3) and K. KHAN (a4)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 16 November 2004

The presumptive treatment of parasitosis among immigrants with albendazole has been shown to save both money and lives, primarily via a reduction in the burden of Strongyloides stercoralis. Ivermectin is more effective than albendazole, but is also more expensive. This coupled with confusion surrounding the cost-effectiveness of guiding therapy based on eosinophil counts has led to disparate practices. We used the newly arrived year 2000 immigrant population as a hypothetical cohort in a decision analysis model to examine the cost-effectiveness of various interventions to reduce parasitosis among immigrants. When the prevalence of S. stercoralis is greater than 2%, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of all presumptive treatment strategies were similar. Ivermectin is associated with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $1700 per QALY gained for treatment with 12 mg ivermectin relative to 5 days of albendazole when the prevalence is 10%. Any presumptive treatment strategy is cost-effective when compared with most common medical interventions.

Corresponding author
Dr P. A. Muennig, Assistant Professor, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 600 W. 168th St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10032, USA. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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