The cost of HIV medication adherence support interventions: Results of a cross-site evaluation

Bruce R. Schackman, R. Finkelstein, C. P. Neukermans, L. Lewis, L. Eldred, D. Ciccarone, B. S. Hanna, E. Ritchie, L. R. Hirschhorn, S. Mannheimer, R. D. Moore, N. Van Devanter, R. Alavarez, J. Dougherty, B. Agins, G. S. Bowen, L. M. Mundy, T. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to determine the direct cost of HIV adherence support programmes participating in a cross-site evaluation in the US. Data on the frequency, type, and setting of adherence encounters; providers' professions; and adherence tools provided were collected for 1,122 patients enrolled in 13 interventions at 9 sites. The site staff estimated the average duration of each type of encounter and national wage rates were used for labour costs. The median (range) adherence encounters/year among interventions was 16.5 (4.3-104.6) per patient; encounters lasted 24.6 (8.9-40.9) minutes. Intervention direct cost was correlated with the average frequency of encounters (r = 0.57), but not with encounter duration or providers' professions. The median direct cost/month was $35 ($5-$58) per patient, and included direct provider costs (66%); incentives (17%); reminders and other tools (8%); and direct administrative time, provider transportation, training, and home delivery (9%). The median direct cost/month from a societal perspective, which includes patient time and travel costs, was $47 ($24-$114) per patient. Adherence interventions with moderate efficacy costing ≤$100/month have been estimated to meet a cost-effectiveness threshold that is generally accepted in the US. Payers should consider enhanced reimbursement for adherence support services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-937
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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