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Cost-effectiveness of amphotericin B plus G-CSF compared with amphotericin B monotherapy. Treatment of presumed deep-seated fungal infection in neutropenic patients in the UK.

Authors: TN Flynn, SM Kelsey, DL Hazel & JF Guest.
Source: PharmacoEconomics 1999; 16(5,2): 543-550

ABSTRACT

Objective: To assess the economic impact of adding granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to amphotericin B to treat a presumed deep-seated fungal infection in neutropenic patients. This study was conducted from the perspective of the National Health Service (NHS) hospital sector.

Design: We used our previously reported trial as the clinical basis for the analysis (see Participants and interventions). These data were combined with resource utilisation data, enabling us to construct a decision tree model of the treatment paths attributable to managing patients in each arm of the trial. The model was used to calculate the cost effectiveness of using amphotericin B plus G-CSF compared to amphotericin B monotherapy in neutropenic patients with a presumed deep-seated fungal infection.

Setting: An adult leukaemia/bone marrow transplant (BMT) unit in a large UK teaching hospital.

Participants: Patients with a neutrophil count of <0.5 x I09/L and having a presumed deep-seated fungal infection after either chemotherapy or stem cell/bone marrow transplantation for haematological malignancy.

Interventions: 29 patients received intravenous amphotericin B (1 mg/kg daily) plus subcutaneous G-CSF (3 to 5 mg/kg daily) and 30 patients received intravenous amphotericin B (1 mg/kg daily) monotherapy. The clinical trial showed that 62% of patients responded to antifungal treatment with amphotericin B plus G-CSF compared to 33% of patients who responded to amphotericin B monotherapy (p 0.027). Nonresponders went on to receive a lipid formulation of amphotericin B.

Main outcome measure and results: The mean cost per patient treated with amphotericin B plus G-CSF was £11 247 and the corresponding cost for amphotericin B monotherapy was £14 317 (1996/1997 values) - a cost reduction of £3070 per patient. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated that the addition of G-CSF to conventional amphotericin B in the treatment of a presumed deep-seated fungal infection offers not only clinical benefits, but cost benefits which are robust to changes in clinical and economic parameters.

Conclusion: From a UK hospital perspective, amphotericin B plus G-CSF is cost effective compared with amphotericin B monotherapy in managing a presumed deep-seated fungal infection in neutropenic patients. This result should provide strong arguments to clinicians and policy-makers for the adoption of this treatment strategy in such patients.


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