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The expenditures related to the use of antifungal drugs in patients with hematological cancers: a cost analysis

Authors Gedik H

Received 15 July 2015

Accepted for publication 7 September 2015

Published 3 November 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 537—543


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Giorgio Lorenzo Colombo

Habip Gedik

Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Ministry of Health Okmeydani Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey

Objective: The aim of this study is to analyze the expenditures related to the use of antifungal drugs in patients with hematological malignancies.
Methods: In this retrospective study, the expenditures related to use of antifungal drugs for treatment of invasive fungal infections in patients with hematological malignancies between November 2010 and November 2012 were analyzed. Expenditures of antifungal drugs were calculated by converting the price billed to the Republic of Turkey Social Security Institution per patient using the US dollar ($) exchange rate.
Results: We retrospectively analyzed the expenditures related to the use of antifungal drugs in 282 febrile episodes of 126 neutropenic patients. Voriconazole (VOR), caspofungin, and liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) were administered as a first-line antifungal therapy to treat 72 febrile episodes of 65 neutropenic patients, 45 febrile episodes of 37 neutropenic patients, and 34 febrile episodes of 32 neutropenic patients, respectively. The expenditures related to the use of antifungal drugs per febrile neutropenic episode were $3,857.85 for VOR; $15,783.34 for caspofungin, and $21,561.02 for L-AmB, respectively. The expenditure related to the use of posaconazole (POS) was $32,167.39 per patient for primary or secondary prophylaxis.
Conclusion: Improving conditions in the patient's room, choosing pre-emptive antifungal treatment instead of empirical antifungal treatment, switching to tablet form of VOR after initiation of its intravenous form, secondary prophylaxis with VOR against invasive aspergillosis, primary prophylaxis with POS in high-risk patients, and choosing less L-AmB as being an alternative to other antifungal drugs, may reduce expenditures related to the use of antifungal drugs in the treatment of invasive fungal infections during febrile neutropenic episodes of patients with hematological malignancies.

Keywords: hematological malignancies, invasive fungal infection, expenditure, antifungal drug, neutropenia

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