Economic Analysis of Fluconazole versus Amphotericin B for the Treatment of Candidemia in Non-Neutropenic Patients
Fluconazole (FLU) is an alternative to amphotericin B (AMB) for the treatment of candidemia in non-neutropenic patients. This agent has similar clinical efficacy but significantly reduced adverse effects compared with AMB. Using the database from a Canadian randomised multicentre comparative trial of FLU versus AMB in the treatment of non-neutropenic patients with candidemia, an economic analysis of antifungal therapy was conducted from a Canadian hospital perspective. Patient records were examined for information containing hospital resource consumption. This included the costs for primary intravenous therapy with either AMB or FLU, laboratory tests, patient clinical monitoring and adverse effects management. The robustness of the baseline results were then tested by a comprehensive sensitivity analysis. The mean duration of therapy in the AMB and FLU arms was 17.1 and 23.7 days, respectively (p < 0.001). Assuming that all of the FLU was administered intravenously, the outcomes of the baseline economic analysis revealed that the treatment cost for patients randomised to receive FLU was approximately 50% higher than that for patients treated with AMB [AMB: $Can2370 vs FLU: $Can3578; p = 0.001 ($Can = Canadian dollars)]. In the sensitivity analysis, substitution to oral FLU after 7 days of intravenous therapy produced economic differences that were no longer statistically significant (AMB: $Can2370 vs FLU: $Can2705; p = 0.10). These results suggest that the FLU administration regimen used in the Canadian randomised trial for the treatment of candidemia in non-neutropenic patients may result in increased hospital costs compared with AMB. However, comparable expenditures could be realised if FLU is administered intravenously for the first 7 days and then orally in patients whose condition allows for reliable oral therapy.
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