• We used cost-effectiveness analysis to compare the costs, risks, and benefits of two strategies for clearing papulopustular acne; topical therapy alone as initial therapy or a combination of systemic antibiotics and topical agents used at the first visit. Patients treated with combination therapy had fewer weeks of morbidity from acne, and lower dollar costs but have a greater risk of side effects. If the topical therapy alone was chosen to reduce the risk of side effects in a population of patients there would be an additional $764 in costs and 238 weeks of morbidity from acne to avert a single additional instance of side effects. Initial treatment of papulopustular acne with combined oral antibiotics and topical agents thus seems to be cost-effective. After clearing is achieved, maintenance therapy with topical agents should be considered.
(Arch Dermatol 1984;120:1571-1578)
Stern RS, Pass TM, Komaroff AL. Topical v Systemic Agent Treatment for Papulopustular AcneA Cost-effectiveness Analysis. Arch Dermatol. 1984;120(12):1571-1578. doi:10.1001/archderm.1984.01650480033013