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      An estimate of the cost of administering intravenous biological agents in Spanish day hospitals

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          To estimate the unit costs of administering intravenous (IV) biological agents in day hospitals (DHs) in the Spanish National Health System.

          Patients and methods

          Data were obtained from 188 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, collected from nine DHs, receiving one of the following IV therapies: infliximab (n=48), rituximab (n=38), abatacept (n=41), or tocilizumab (n=61). The fieldwork was carried out between March 2013 and March 2014. The following three groups of costs were considered: 1) structural costs, 2) material costs, and 3) staff costs. Staff costs were considered a fixed cost and were estimated according to the DH theoretical level of activity, which includes, as well as personal care of each patient, the DH general activities (complete imputation method, CIM). In addition, an alternative calculation was performed, in which the staff costs were considered a variable cost imputed according to the time spent on direct care (partial imputation method, PIM). All costs were expressed in euros for the reference year 2014.


          The average total cost was €146.12 per infusion (standard deviation [SD] ±87.11; CIM) and €29.70 per infusion (SD ±11.42; PIM). The structure-related costs per infusion varied between €2.23 and €62.35 per patient and DH; the cost of consumables oscillated between €3.48 and €20.34 per patient and DH. In terms of the care process, the average difference between the shortest and the longest time taken by different hospitals to administer an IV biological therapy was 113 minutes.


          The average total cost of infusion was less than that normally used in models of economic evaluation coming from secondary sources. This cost is even less when the staff costs are imputed according to the PIM. A high degree of variability was observed between different DHs in the cost of the consumables, in the structure-related costs, and in those of the care process.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Administration costs of intravenous biologic drugs for rheumatoid arthritis

          Background Cost-effectiveness studies explicitly reporting infusion times, drug-specific administration costs for infusions or real-payer intravenous drug cost are few in number. Yet, administration costs for infusions are needed in the health economic evaluations assessing intravenously-administered drugs. Objectives To estimate the drug-specific administration and total cost of biologic intravenous rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drugs in the adult population and to compare the obtained costs with published cost estimates. Methods Cost price data for the infusions and drugs were systematically collected from the 2011 Finnish price lists. All Finnish hospitals with available price lists were included. Drug administration and total costs (administration cost + drug price) per infusion were analysed separately from the public health care payer’s perspective. Further adjustments for drug brand, dose, and hospital type were done using regression methods in order to improve the comparability between drugs. Annual expected drug administration and total costs were estimated. A literature search not limited to RA was performed to obtain the per infusion administration cost estimates used in publications. The published costs were converted to Finnish values using base-year purchasing power parities and indexing to the year 2011. Results Information from 19 (95%) health districts was obtained (107 analysable prices out of 176 observations). The average drug administration cost for infliximab, rituximab, abatacept, and tocilizumab infusion in RA were €355.91; €561.21; €334.00; and €293.96, respectively. The regression-adjusted (dose, hospital type; using semi-log ordinary least squares) mean administration costs for infliximab and rituximab infusions in RA were €289.12 (95% CI €222.61–375.48) and €542.28 (95% CI €307.23–957.09). The respective expected annual drug administration costs were €2312.96 for infliximab during the first year, €1879.28 for infliximab during the forthcoming years, and €1843.75 for rituximab. The obtained average administration costs per infusion were higher (1.8–3.3 times depending on the drug) than the previously published purchasing power adjusted and indexed average administration costs for infusions in RA. Conclusions The administration costs of RA infusions vary between drugs, and more effort should be made to find realistic drug-specific estimates for cost-effectiveness evaluations. The frequent assumption of intravenous drug administration costs equalling outpatient visit cost can underestimate the costs.
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            Analysis of drug and administrative costs allowed by U.S. Private and public third-party payers for 3 intravenous biologic agents for rheumatoid arthritis.

            Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common chronic condition with substantial morbidity that can now be treated with disease-modifying biologic agents that target tumor necrosis factor (TNF) or related mechanisms. The anti-TNF biologic agents are available in either intravenous (IV) or subcutaneous dose forms. The biologic agents with an indication for rheumatoid arthritis and administered only by IV infusion in medical offices include abatacept, infliximab, and rituximab. Although the literature on RA treatments, their outcomes, and aspects of their costs is substantial, the costs of administration by the IV route have not been directly studied. To assess the detailed costs of administering IV biologic agents for the treatment of RA in relation to the total cost of the medication itself in the United States. The sample included all patients with at least 1 medical claim with an ICD-9-CM diagnosis code for RA (codes 714.XX) in any claim field and at least 1 claim for infliximab, abatacept, or rituximab (HCPCS codes J1745, J0129, and J9310, respectively) at any time from January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2008, in a database associated with billing and claims administration for 72 U.S. medical clinics. Costs were determined using the payer allowed payment, which is the total contractual amount that the provider should receive, including the patient cost share. Costs were measured as the average cost per IV administration visit and in relation to the dose of medication billed. The authors verified that an RA diagnosis was present on 100% of infusion claims for the study drugs. Over the study period for claims with dates of service from January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2008, 72 medical clinics had claims for a total of 4,248 unique patients with RA and a total of 33,354 clinic visits in which these patients received at least 1 infusion of 1 of 3 biologic agents (26,586 for infliximab, 4,807 for abatacept, and 1,961 for rituximab). Mean (SD) total payment for all drugs and other cost components was $2,874 ($1,515) per visit, of which IV administration costs were $226 (7.9%); the mean cost of the biologic agent itself was $2,616 (91.0%), and other visit-related services were $33 (1.1%). For individual agents, the total costs of visits were $2,828, $1,827, and $6,076; and the costs of IV administration were $224, $171, and $390, respectively, for infliximab, abatacept, and rituximab. For patients who received an IV biologic agent to treat RA, IV administration costs accounted for 7.9% of the total cost of the visit.
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              Patient and physician perception of the infusion process of the biologic agents abatacept, infliximab, and rituximab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

              To assess the process related to each infusible biologic used in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with regard to patient and physician engagement in the infusion process, ancillary services required, and participant preferences.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                14 March 2017
                : 13
                : 325-334
                [1 ]Rheumatology Department, IDIBELL-Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, Barcelona
                [2 ]Hospital Universitario de Getafe, Madrid
                [3 ]Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Madrid
                [4 ]Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet, Zaragoza
                [5 ]Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona
                [6 ]Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander
                [7 ]Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Sevilla
                [8 ]Max Weber Institute, Madrid
                [9 ]MSD, Madrid, Spain
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Joan Miquel Nolla, Rheumatology Department, Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, Feixa Llarga s/n 08907, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain, Tel +34 93 260 7500, Fax +34 93 260 7533, Email jm.nolla@ 123456bellvitgehospital.cat
                © 2017 Nolla et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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