Healthcare Costs of Patients with Heart Failure Treated with Torasemide or Furosemide
Kevin T. Stroupe
Melissa M. Forthofer
D. Craig Brater
Michael D. Murray
Objective: To compare the direct healthcare costs of patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) prescribed torasemide (torsemide) or furosemide (frusemide). Design and setting: As part of a prospective, randomised, nonblind study, we assessed the effects of torasemide and furosemide on readmission to hospital in 193 patients treated for CHF at a US urban public healthcare system. We also calculated total direct healthcare costs for the 2 drugs. The perspective of the analysis was that of the healthcare system. Healthcare charge and utilisation data, demographic information, and health status data were obtained from an electronic database containing data for all patients treated within the healthcare system. Patients and participants: Upon admission to the hospital, patients were eligible if they had evidence of left ventricular systolic dysfunction, were at least 18 years old, and were receiving furosemide. Intervention: Inpatients were randomised to either torasemide or furosemide treatment for 1 year. Main outcome measures and results: Patients treated with torasemide had fewer hospital admissions than those treated with furosemide [18 vs 34% for CHF (p = 0.013) and 38 vs 58% for any cardiovascular cause (p = 0.005)]. In the torasemide group, expected annual hospital costs per patient were lower for CHF admissions (by $US1054; 1998 values) and for all cardiovascular admissions (by $US1545) than in the furosemide group. Because the annual acquisition cost of torasemide was $US518 per patient higher than that of furosemide, the resulting net cost saving per patient was $US536 for CHF and $US1027 for all cardiovascular causes. Outpatient costs did not differ between treatment groups regardless of whether drug costs were considered. Total direct costs were $US2124 lower with torasemide than with furosemide (not statistically significant). Conclusions: Owing largely to reduced readmission to the hospital, the cost of inpatient care for patients with CHF is significantly lower with torasemide than with furosemide, despite the higher acquisition cost of torasemide. Treatment with torasemide resulted in a nonsignificant reduction in total direct costs (outpatient plus inpatient) compared with furosemide.
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