Minimizing costs for treating deep vein thrombosis: the role for fondaparinux
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BACKGROUND: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) remains a major burden and fondaparinux represents a new option for DVT therapy. We sought to determine if fondaparinux offered financial advantages over low-molecular weight heparin since it is given as a fixed dose over a wide range of patient weights rather then dosed directly on weight and because fondaparinux is not associated with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). METHODS: We conducted a cost-minimization analysis comparing fondaparinux to enoxaparin for acute anticoagulation in DVT. We modeled a cohort of 1,000 hypothetical subjects and drew estimates for model inputs from the published literature. We completed multiple sensitivity analyses to asses the significance of our assumptions and used Monte Carlo simulation to estimate the 95% confidence intervals (CIs) around our estimation of the cost differential for the two agents. RESULTS: In the base case, total disease management costs per patient with fondaparinux are US 472 dollars compared to 769 dollars with enoxaparin. The 95% CI around this difference ranges from US 48 dollars to US 401 dollars. The model was mildly sensitive to the pharmacy acquisition costs of fondaparinux and enoxaparin which was the major driver of overall costs. Neither the rates of nor costs associated with DVT recurrence, major bleeding, nor HIT substantially affected our observations. Breakeven analysis indicated our findings to be robust over a wide range of likely clinical scenarios. CONCLUSIONS: From the perspective of a healthcare system, fondaparinux use offers an attractive economic alternative to other agents for initial DVT therapy. Expanded reliance on fondaparinux could potentially result in savings.
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