Background After the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee of a tertiary hospital had evaluated ranibizumab and bevacizumab for the treatment of macular oedema secondary to retinal vein occlusion (RVO) based on the available evidence, the two drugs were considered equivalent therapeutic alternatives and ‘off label’ bevacizumab use was approved (1.25 mg intravitreal prefilled syringe prepared by the Pharmacy department, administered every 6 weeks for four doses and subsequently as required).
Purpose To quantify the financial impact of the use of bevacizumab as anti-VEGF of choice in the treatment of macular oedema secondary to RVO.
Materials and methods Data were collected from patients diagnosed with macular oedema secondary to RVO from November 2012 to April 2013, and from the treatment given.
In order to calculate the savings generated by using bevacizumab, rather than ranibizumab, during this period, the direct cost difference between the two alternatives was used.
Results 18 patients with macular oedema secondary to RVO were treated, with a total of 46 doses. In all the cases, we used intravitreal bevacizumab as the antiangiogenic drug. The saving generated by using a dose of intravitreal bevacizumab rather than intravitreal ranibizumab was 1,291 €. The impact of cost savings for the hospital during the six months studied was 11,626 €. According to the established protocol, the incremental cost of one year’s treatment is 7,767–15,534 € (depending on the number of injections). Therefore, the annual impact on the hospital budget (assuming 36 patients/year) would be around 280,000–560,000 €.
Conclusions Selecting bevacizumab as the antiangiogenic drug in patients with macular oedema secondary to RVO generates significant cost savings for the healthcare system.
No conflict of interest.
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