Infect Chemother.  2004 Oct;36(5):304-310.

Cost-Identification Analysis between Amphotericin B deoxycholate and Intravenous Itraconazole in the Empirical Treatment of Febrile Neutropenic Patients:Preliminary Report

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Korea.
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


BACKGROUND: The increasing incidence of systemic fungal infections and the rising medical cost have focused the need to determine the economic issues of antifungal agents. Nevertheless there have been only few reports about the cost analysis in Korea. We retrospectively investigated to compare the pharmacoeconomic aspects of amphotericin B deoxycholate (ABV) with those of intravenous itraconazole (ITZA) in the empirical treatment of febrile neutropenic patients.
Through the cost-identification analysis model, on the presumption that two groups would show identical response, we collected data of patients who received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) or chemotherapy in Catholic HSCT center from Jun 1, 2003 to Nov 30, 2003. The literatures about information on antifungal therapy were extensively reviewed. Other unpublished information was provided by information assistant team, cost management team, and medical record unit in the same hospital.
Empirical antifungals were given to 149 out of 320 patients (46.5%). The average duration of administration were 17.0 days for ABV and 9.8 days for ITZA. The rates of adverse events were 54% and 5% for ABV and ITZA, respectively. Eleven (7.4%) patients given ABV received hemodialysis for 6.5 days in average. Among patients given ITZA, none developed hepatotoxicity requiring plasmapheresis or artificial liver. It cost 1,229,495 won/patient for the ABV group (starting ABV as empirical antifungal agent) and 1,434,605 won/patient for the ITZA group (starting ITZA as empirical antifungal agent) which was 16.7% more expensive than ABV group. When we compare the average daily cost for 16 days, the ITZA group spent 12,819.4 won/patient/day more than the ABV group.
The cost-identification model in this study revealed that ITZA group cost more than ABV group. However, the difference in expense decreased when 1 day-cost was compared (4.7 times greater than ABV). It would be more reasonable to consider the total cost of anti-fungals during the hospitalization rather than 1 day cost in considering pharmacoeconomics. Well designed prospective study considering prognosis of patients, quality of life, and indirect social cost should be warranted.


Cost; Economics; Pharmaceutical; Amphotericin B; Itraconazole; Neutropenia

MeSH Terms

Amphotericin B*
Antifungal Agents
Costs and Cost Analysis
Deoxycholic Acid*
Drug Therapy
Economics, Pharmaceutical
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Liver, Artificial
Medical Records
Quality of Life
Renal Dialysis
Retrospective Studies
Amphotericin B
Antifungal Agents
Deoxycholic Acid
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