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Reduction of costs for anemia-management drugs associated with the use of ferric citrate

Authors Thomas A, Peterson LE

Received 29 March 2014

Accepted for publication 17 April 2014

Published 20 May 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 191—201


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Anila Thomas,1 Leif E Peterson2

1Clinical Pharmacy Services, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX, USA; 2Center for Biostatistics, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX, USA

Background: Ferric citrate is a novel phosphate binder which has the potential to reduce usage of erythropoietin-stimulating agents (ESAs) and intravenous (IV) iron used for anemia management during hemodialysis (HD) among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Currently, the potential health care cost savings on a national scale due to the use of ferric citrate in ESRD are undetermined.
Methods: Per-patient-per-year costs of ESAs (Epogen® and Aranesp® [Amgen Inc., CA, USA]) and IV iron (Venofer® [American Regent, Inc., NY, USA] and Ferrlecit® [Sanofi US, Bridgewater, NJ, USA]) were based on RED BOOK™ (Truven Health Analytics New York, NY, USA) costs combined with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) base rate and actual usage in 2011 for the four drugs. The annual number of outpatients undergoing HD in the US was based on frequencies reported by the USRDS (United States Renal Data System). Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis was performed to determine total annual costs and cost reduction based on ferric citrate usage.
Results: Total annual cost of ESAs and IV iron for anemia management in ESRD determined by Monte Carlo analysis assuming CMS base rate value was 5.127 (3.664–6.260) billion USD. For actual utilization in 2011, total annual cost of ESAs and IV iron was 3.981 (2.780–4.930) billion USD. If ferric citrate usage reduced ESA utilization by 20% and IV iron by 40%, then total cost would be reduced by 21.2% to 4.038 (2.868–4.914) billion USD for the CMS base rate, and by 21.8% to 3.111 (2.148–3.845) billion USD, based on 2011 actual utilization.
Conclusion: It is likely that US health care costs for anemia-management drugs associated with ESRD among HD patients can be reduced by using ferric citrate as a phosphate binder.

Keywords: end-stage renal disease, hemodialysis, erythropoietin-stimulating agents, supplemental iron, phosphate binder, Monte Carlo analysis

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