Background HIV infection is a complex medical problem that requires careful monitoring of adherence to treatment, efficacy, development of resistances and toxicities. The estimated life expectancy of patients is increasing, this makes it necessary to find efficient ways to optimise switching therapy away from HAART in order to reduce costs and increase its efficacy. At Amedeo di Savoia Hospital of Turin, the regional centre in Piedmont for HIV infection diagnosis and treatment, hospital pharmacists work in a multidisciplinary team with infectiologists, nurses, psychologists and dieticians. The team follows every aspect of the clinical pathway, leading to an improvement in the clinical management of HIV patients.
To monitor HAART for all patients on therapy
To identify patients with a switch of therapy
To create a multidisciplinary database including adherence, economic and clinical data before and after the switch
To monitor the distribution of available resources in relation with virological outcome and adherence response of patients
To achieve a rational use of resources
Materials and Methods Collecting data from Oliamm Software and File F using a specific software application, we analysed cost and adherence by the pharmacy refill method (days supplies between refill dates/duration of dispensed therapy x 100) for each switch of treatment between March 2010 and March 2012. From clinical reports we also evaluated the reasons for switching (toxicity, simplification, treatment failure) and the success of variation in term of virological outcome.
Results Switching of antiretroviral treatments occured in 250 patients (male 177, female 73, median age 48 years), out of about 1,835 HIV-positive people in treatment, considering overall 310 switches (about 8% at the patient’s request). In 151 cases the switch led to a financial saving and in 159 cases to an increase in cost, leading overall to an excess of cost of 4396,6€ each month (an additional €17,59 for each patient for each month). The reasons for the variation were: treatment failure in 30%, simplification of the treatment in 20%, toxicity in 44% and other causes in 6%. Focus on simplification evidenced: 13% decrease in pill burden, 17% on STR, 55% on LDR, 10% on QD therapy. We also analysed the causes of toxicities. From our study we observed an increased number of patients with suppressed viral load (from 60% to 77%) as evidence of efficacy. 67 out of 125 patients (54%) with pre-switch viral load non-suppressed, had a suppression after switch. 172 patients out of 185 patients (93%) with pre switch viral load suppressed, conserved suppression after switch, but 13 patients (7%) had viral rebound. The change of the treatment didn’t impact on adherence in 50.32% cases and produced an improvement in adherence in 39.03% of switched patients. Only in 10.65% did a decrease of adherence improve. We have also analysed the cost distribution, observing a better use of resources to obtain a viral load under 20 cp/ml and a financial saving for treatment of patients already suppressed pre-switch.
Conclusions In our study an analysis of switching treatment has demonstrated a correct distribution of budget and an improvement in adherence. It has also demonstrated the importance of working in team for better management of the therapeutic path.
No conflict of interest.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.