Use of intravenous immunoglobulin in the Department of Neurology at Ninewells Hospital, 2008-2009: Indications for utilization and cost-effectiveness

Department of Neurology, Ninewells Hospital, NHS Tayside, Dundee, United Kingdom.

Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology. 2010;13((4):):271-5.

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This study was designed to identify the indications for prescription of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) in neurology and the cost effectiveness of this therapy. OBJECTIVES IVIg is a relatively costly therapy and the annual budget spent on providing this therapy for various indications at Ninewells Hospital was close to 1.5 million. In today's economic times, a cost-benefit analysis of all therapies is prudent. This is of relevance to countries in the developing world as well where perhaps not everybody could afford such cost-intensive therapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS We audited 2 time periods over 12 months each in 2004-2005 and 2008-2009 to look at the patterns of utilization of IVIg over these periods. We searched the literature for alternative and cost-effective therapies for the most common indications for use of IVIg. RESULTS Fiscal costs on prescription of IVIg have rocketed up by almost 300% in this Neurology Department comparing data from 2004-2005 vs 2008-2009 and this is disproportionate to the increase in the annual admission rate (bed usage), partly because of the soaring costs of the drug available in the market and also because of the increased prescription of IVIg for numerous indications where clinical trials data are yet not so robust. CONCLUSION We have looked at the cost of alternative therapies and offer some proposals that if implemented could potentially save 330,000 annually from the health budget at this NHS Trust. Perhaps similar models could evolve for better cost-effective utilization of IVIg in countries in the developing world where health budgeting is more acutely relevant.
Study details
Study Design : Economic Study
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine