The previous health economic simulation of donepezil based on the Markov model revealed the treatment for mild to moderate stage of Alzheimer disease (AD) to be cost-effective. Our aim was to examine the economic effect of donepezil treatment for mild cognitive impairment, from which about 15% convert to dementia per year. We constructed a new Markov model using three simulations. Namely, Simulation A hypothesized that mild AD patients, i.e., Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) 1, received donepezil as in the previous study. Simulation B hypothesized that all CDR 0.5 subjects received donepezil, and Simulation C considered that only the CDR 0.5 converters to dementia received donepezil. We calculated the models as follows: Simulation B, supposes that the annual transition probabilities were reduced even from 15% to 10% by donepezil, however, the drug had a negative economic effect. By contrast, in Simulation C, the annual transition probability was reduced from only 15% to 12% by donepezil, there was a positive economic effect. Since it is necessary to reduce the annual transition probability from 15% to 12% in order to manifest a concomitant economic benefit, we consider that early detection of CDR 0.5 converters in the community is important for health policy planning.
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