Mordin M, Parrish W, Masaquel C, Bisson B, Copley-Merriman K. Intra-articular hyaluronic acid for osteoarthritis of the knee in the United States: a systematic review of economic evaluations. Clin Med Insights Arthritis Musculoskelet Disord. 2021 Nov 19;14:1-13.

BACKGROUND: The economic impact of intra-articular hyaluronic acid (IAHA) for the treatment of knee pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA) has been evaluated in the United States, but not systematically summarized.

OBJECTIVE: We reviewed the literature to determine the economic impact of IAHA for pain associated with knee OA in the United States.

METHODS: A literature review was performed in PubMed (including MEDLINE and MEDLINE In-Process), Embase, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database and was limited to English language human studies published from January 2000 to October 2020.

RESULTS The literature search identified 215 unique abstracts; of these, 47 were selected for full-text review and 21 studies met the inclusion criteria. Intra-articular hyaluronic acid injections delayed progression to total knee arthroplasty (TKA), and repeated courses of treatment successfully delayed TKA by more than 5 years. Intra-articular hyaluronic acid was found to reduce the use of pain medications overall and reduce the number of patients receiving opioid prescriptions by 6% (P < .001). Several studies showed that IAHA is more cost-effective in treating pain associated with knee OA compared with conventional care with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), analgesics, and corticosteroids, and several authors concluded that IAHA should be the dominant treatment strategy.

CONCLUSIONS: Current studies suggest that IAHA may reduce the use of pain medications, such as NSAIDs and opioids, and impact time to TKA procedures, thus potentially decreasing overall treatment costs of knee OA over time. Furthermore, IAHA was determined to be cost-effective against NSAIDs, corticosteroids, analgesics, and conservative treatment. As the safety and efficacy of IAHA for knee OA have been well established, the findings from our literature review may be used to inform future economic evaluations.

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