Evidence-based medicine, health costs and intra-abdominal infection treatment
Anti-infectious drugs are among the most-prescribed medications in the community, in 1997 being more than 9% of all drugs prescribed by the Spanish National Health System. In the particular case of the treatment of patients with moderate or severe intra-abdominal infection, economic aspects are important. Antimicrobial therapy is responsible for as much as 50% of the drug budget in some Spanish hospitals. On the other hand, as more options become available for the treatment of intra-abdominal infection, it is important to know their clinical and economic consequences. Imipenem/cilastatin (IC) is a broad-spectrum beta-lactam antibiotic that has demonstrated its effectiveness in the treatment of nosocomial and community-acquired bacterial infections.
The objective of this study was to determine if IC has a favorable cost-effectiveness relation compared to other antibiotic therapies for the treatment of intra-abdominal infections.
A cost-effectiveness analysis was made based on retrospective information on the treatment of patients over 18 with clinical suspicion of moderate-to-severe intra-abdominal infection. Health-care results were measured in natural health units (percentage of clinically favorable cases) in a systematic review of the literature. Direct health-care costs associated with the treatments compared were calculated. The other options studied, apart from IC, included the most common and least expensive option (a combination of an aminoglycoside and an anaerobicide [AA]) and an antibiotic from the same family as IC, meropenem (M).
The results, in terms of the percentage of patients with clinically favorable results, showed that the effectiveness of IC was equivalent to that of M (95.2% vs. 96.4%) and the AA association (88.0% vs. 86.6%). Analysis of cost minimization showed that the total cost per patient treated with the IC and M options was similar, but that the lower price of IC slightly reduced the total cost per patient treated (ptas. 455,320 IC and ptas. 483,404 M). In the comparison of IC and AA, the higher price of IC was compensated for by the lower cost associated with the duration of hospitalization in patients treated with IC (total cost per patients treated ptas. 844,678 IC and ptas. 1,009,180 AA).
The results of the meta-analysis showed that imipenem/cilastatin was highly effective (more than 90% clinically favorable results) and that it can be considered a minimum equivalent to meropenem and to the combination of an aminoglycoside and anaerobicide for the treatment of patients with moderate or severe intra-abdominal infection. Given the equivalence in effectiveness of the options studied, analysis of cost minimization was used to study their relative effectiveness. This analysis showed that IC was accompanied by lower costs per patient than M and AA. The most relevant variables in the study of the efficiency of the treatment of intra-abdominal infections were, in conditions of equivalent effectiveness, days of hospitalization (and associated costs) and drug price.
Available from: Luca Gianotti
- "In recent years, increased attention to prevent surgeryrelated complications and continuous research for new costeffective treatment have been strongly recommended   . "
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ABSTRACT: Objective: Costs related to postoperative complications continue to be a major burden on anyhealth care system. The aim of the present study was to calculate hospital costs for postoperative complications and to evaluate whether preoperative supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and arginine (specialized diet) might lead to cost savings in patient care. Methods: Blind analysis of costs performed on data gathered from a randomized clinical trial carried out on 305 patients with gastrointestinal cancer showed that an oral preoperative specialized diet decreased postoperative morbidity compared with conventional treatment (no supplementation). Estimates of complication costs were based on resources used for treatment and on additional length of hospital stay. Cost-comparison and cost-effectiveness analyses were then carried out. Results: The mean cost of postoperative complications was EURO4492. The greatest amount of resources was consumed by 19 anastomotic leaks (EURO159803), 18 abdominal abscesses (EURO12 921), and 18 pancreatic fistulae (EURO106 516). The mean costs per complication were EURO6178 in the conventional group and EURO4639 in the preoperative group (P = 0.05). The mean total costs of patients with complications were EURO10 494 in the conventional group and EURO8793 in the preoperative group. The mean cost per randomized patient was EURO3122 in the conventional group versus EURO1872 in the preoperative group (P = 0.04). Effectiveness values were 50.0% in the conventional group and 62.8% in the preoperative group (P = 0.03). Total costs consumed 93% of the diagnosis-related group reimbursement rate in the conventional group and 78% in the preoperative group. Conclusions: The costs of postoperative morbidity consumed a large amount of the diagnosis- related group reimbursement rate. Preoperative supplementation with the specialized diet appears to be a cost-effective treatment. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Available from: David A Berg
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ABSTRACT: The objectives of the study were to calculate the costs of postoperative complications and to evaluate whether the use of perioperative enteral immunonutrition, may lead to a saving in health care resources consumed. The economic analysis was based on data from a randomized double-blind trial that include 206 cancer patients who received perioperatively either enteral immunonutrition (treatment group, n = 102) or a standard enteral diet (control group, n = 104). Estimates of costs were based on resource use for treatment of complications, which were valued according to the National List of Sanitary Costs of the Italian Ministry of Health and on the medical Diagnosis-Related-Group (DRG) reimbursement rates. Costs of nutrition were also calculated. Cost comparison and cost effectiveness analyses were then carried out. Intent-to-treat analysis showed that the total costs of 52 postoperative complications were 322,218 euros, with a consumption of the DRG reimbursement rate of 15.4%. The costs of nutrition were 35,437 euros in the treatment group versus 10,768 euros in the control group. The total costs (nutrition plus treating complications) amounted to 113,778 euros in the treatment group versus 254,450 euros in the control group. The mean total costs per patient were 1,115 euros in the treatment group versus 2,447 euros in the control group (P = 0.04). Effectiveness was 83.3% in the treatment group versus 68.3% in the control group (P = 0.009). Cost effectiveness analysis showed a net saving of 2,386 euros per complication-free patient in favor of the treatment group. In conclusion, the perioperative use of immunonutrition appears cost effective due to a substantial saving of resources used to treat postoperative complications.
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