Cost Effectiveness of Beractant in the Prevention of Respiratory Distress Syndrome
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Beractant, a modified natural bovine surfactant extract, has been used successfully in the prevention of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in premature neonates. This analysis investigates the cost effectiveness of prophylactic surfactant therapy. Resource utilisation data were analysed retrospectively from 210 patients who had participated previously in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. No baseline differences were apparent between the beractant and sham-air control groups. There was a significant difference in survival favouring the beractant-treated neonates. When the acquisition cost of the study drug was excluded, there was an incremental, daily cost-savings benefit for the beractant-treated group compared with the sham-air treated group. Costs per case per day were significantly lower for neonates treated with beractant ($US1442 beractant vs $US1544 sham-air; 1991 dollars p = 0.01). Costs for radiological and diagnostic procedures, respiratory care and drugs (excluding beractant) were all significantly lower. When the acquisition cost of beractant was included, the cost to produce a 28-day survivor was $US3319 less with beractant ($US41 020) than with sham-air ($US44 339). Thus, when viewed in terms of costs per year of life saved, beractant compares very favourably with other recently evaluated health technologies.
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