Oral Zyvox (linezolid) was associated with significant savings to the healthcare system an average of $4,630 per patient compared to vancomycin when used in an outpatient setting for people with certain infections, according to data to be presented today at the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) annual meeting. In the study, patients taking oral Zyvox had fewer physician office visits, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, lab tests and other healthcare services, as well as lower total costs, compared to patients taking vancomycin.
The study retrospectively analyzed longitudinal claims data from more than 80 health plans for patients treated with Zyvox or vancomycin on an outpatient basis for infections of which approximately half (48 percent) were skin infections. The average total cost per patient, including drug acquisition and administration as well as all related medical expenses, was 34 percent less for patients who were treated with oral Zyvox compared with patients who were treated with vancomycin, which must be taken intravenously. Zyvox is available in interchangeable IV and oral formulations.
This new information broadens our understanding of the benefits of oral linezolid, said Peggy S. McKinnon, PharmD, clinical pharmacist of transplant infectious diseases/clinical research at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and lead investigator. Using an oral agent eliminates the risk of IV complications, such as line infections, as well as the cost of IV administration. This study offers further evidence of the cost savings of oral linezolid to the health care system.
McKinnon and other investigators conducted a retrospective study using claims data from more than 80 health care plans to evaluate the impact of outpatient treatment with oral Zyvox versus IV vancomycin on resource utilization and direct medical costs. The study analyzed 1,048 adult patients treated with Zyvox and 1,048 adult patients treated with vancomycin, matched by propensity score, between January 2002 and March 2004. Demographic, clinical and resource utilization data were collected for 12 months prior and during the 35 day observation period, including treatment duration. Demographic and clinical characteristics, such as age, gender, plan type, co-morbidities, infection-related events, and total health care costs, were comparable between treatment groups for 12 months prior to treatment. Neither efficacy nor safety was evaluated in this study.
During the follow-up period, 35 days after treatment, patients who received oral ZYVOX used significantly fewer health care resources in the six areas studied, including physician office visits (4.1 vs. 8.4 visits per patient; p<0.0001), emergency room visits (0.13 vs. 0.17; p=0.003), diagnostic claims (6.3 vs. 10.4; p<0.0001), other outpatient claims (8.9 vs. 18.4; p<0.0001), pharmacy claims (7.3 vs. 13.6; p<0.0001) and hospitalizations (0.19 vs. 0.23; p=0.024). The average total cost of care per patient was $4,630 (34 percent) less for Zyvox patients compared with vancomycin patients ($8,922 vs. $13,552; p<0.0001).
In short, patients were able to recover at home with less medical intervention than patients taking vancomycin, said Yehuda Carmeli, MD, MPH, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, and study investigator. As the medical community strives to provide the best patient care while containing costs, these are important data for physicians to take under consideration.