Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2021 Aug;64(8):554-562. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2020.00752.

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Immunotherapy in Patient with Allergic Rhinitis

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Quality Improvement, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea


Background and Objectives
All treatments must be effective and affordable. Although it is clear that immunotherapy is effective in patients with allergic rhinitis, no cost-effectiveness analysis has been conducted in Korea.
Subjects and Method
We compared 10 years of total treatment costs (medical expense+ transportation cost+time cost) with medications and symptoms scores assuming that adult patients with allergic rhinitis are treated only with symptomatic medication (medication model) or immunotherapy (subcutaneous or sublingual) plus symptomatic medication [subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) models, respectively]. For cost-effectiveness analysis, related papers and domestic medical statistics were used.
The total treatment costs for the first 3 years were ₩3330199, ₩6605557, and ₩7130467 for the Medication model, SCIT model and SLIT model, respectively. The total treatment costs for the 10-year period were ₩7996087, ₩8588624, and ₩9113534 for the medication model, SCIT model, and SCIT model, respectively. The cumulative symptoms plus medications scores decreased 0.44 times in both immunotherapy models compared to the medication model.
The initial cost of immunotherapy is more expensive than symptomatic medication, but the total cost for 10 years is similar. In addition, immunotherapy can reduce symptoms by more than half. Therefore, it is a cost-effective treatment for allergic rhinitis.


Allergic rhinitis; Cost-effectiveness analysis; Immunotherapy
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