Cost Comparisons of Pharmacological Strategies in Open-Heart Surgery
Open-heart surgery (OHS) is performed to bypass occluded arteries, replace malfunctioning cardiac valves or correct congenital abnormalities. The average cost of OHS varies from $US25 057-$US79 795 (1997 values). The objective of this paper was to review economic studies of pharmacological strategies in open-heart surgery. Pharmacological strategies studied include the prevention of postoperative complications such as atrial fibrillation (AF), bleeding and infection. Modifications in anaesthetic technique have been attempted by using agents that promote early extubation. In addition, strategies for postoperative management of sedation, analgesia and AF and use of neuromuscular blockers have also been compared. The majority of studies in this area have been cost analyses with few cost-effectiveness studies performed. Prophylaxis against AF with amiodarone is associated with a reduction in AF and was cost-neutral compared with placebo. Compared with placebo, prevention of bleeding with antifibrinolytics reduces transfusion costs. In direct comparative studies, lysine analogues, due to lower drug acquisition costs, offset transfusion costs to a greater extent than aprotinin. However, safety concerns with the lysine analogues remain. Erythropoietin decreases transfusion requirements and is cost effective compared with no intervention when the cost of postoperative bacterial complications is included. First- and second-generation cephalosporins prevent postoperative infections. Based on drug acquisition cost, the first-generation agents are less expensive although when administration costs are included, both classes have similar costs. Modifications in anaesthetic technique with short-acting anaesthetic agents, results in higher drug costs although nursing and total hospital costs are typically reduced. For neuromuscular blockers, drug acquisition costs are lowest with pancuronium but administration costs and the cost of adverse events have not been included in existing analyses. Midazolam provides an equivalent level of postoperative sedation to propofol but the acquisition cost is lower. The combined use of propofol and midazolam warrants further investigation, as its use is associated with lower sedative agent costs compared with either agent alone. There is limited data on the economics of postoperative analgesia and the management of AF. As the majority of studies to date are partial cost analyses, additional studies that include length of stay and other hospitalisation data are warranted. In future, cost-effectiveness and cost-utility studies, which incorporate quality of life and the cost of adverse effects and other longer term costs, should be undertaken.
In order to set up a list of libraries that you have access to,
you must first login
or sign up.
Then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page by
clicking on your user name at the top right of any screen.