AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The current health-care philosophy dictates that new therapies should always be evaluated for their economic impact. Along with acquisition cost, the cost of delivery, monitoring, adverse effects and treatment failure must also be considered when determining the total cost of therapy. These auxiliary costs can be significant and greatly alter the overall cost of a drug treatment. We conducted a prospective randomized study to evaluate the efficacy, safety and cost of vancomycin and teicoplanin therapy in patients with neutropenia, after the failure of empirical treatment with a combination of piperacillin/tazobactam and amikacin. DESIGN AND METHODS: Seventy-six febrile episodes from 66 patients with hematologic malignancies under treatment, neutropenia (neutrophils <500/mm3) and fever (38 degrees C twice or 38.5 degrees C once) resistant to the combination piperacillin/tazobactam and amikacin were included in the study. RESULTS: Primary success of second-line therapy was obtained in 35 cases (46%) with no significant difference between vancomycin (17/38) and teicoplanin arms (18/38). No difference in renal or hepatic toxicity related to the antibiotic therapy was observed. The average cost per patient according to glycopeptide used was $450+/-180 for the teicoplanin group and $473+/-347 for the vancomycin group. Interestingly, in the teicoplanin arm, drug acquisition accounted for 97% of the total cost, while in the vancomycin arm administration and monitoring play an important role in overall costs. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, our pharmacoeconomic analysis demonstrates that teicoplanin and vancomycin can be administered in neutropenic hematologic patients with similar efficacy and direct costs.
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Vol. 84 No. 3 (1999): March, 1999 : Clinical Trial
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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