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Economic implications of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia (FN) in European and Australian clinical practice are largely unknown.
Data were obtained from a European (97%) and Australian (3%) observational study of patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) receiving CHOP (±rituximab) chemotherapy. For each patient, each cycle of chemotherapy within the course, and each occurrence of FN within cycles, was identified. Patients developing FN in a given cycle (“FN patients”), starting with the first, were matched to those who did not develop FN in that cycle (“comparison patients”), irrespective of subsequent FN events. FN-related healthcare costs (£2010) were tallied for the initial FN event as well as follow-on care and FN events in subsequent cycles.
Mean total cost was £5776 (95%CI £4928-£6713) higher for FN patients (n=295) versus comparison patients, comprising £4051 (£3633-£4485) for the initial event and a difference of £1725 (£978-£2498) in subsequent cycles. Among FN patients requiring inpatient care (76% of all FN patients), mean total cost was higher by £7259 (£6327-£8205), comprising £5281 (£4810-£5774) for the initial hospitalization and a difference of £1978 (£1262-£2801) in subsequent cycles.
Cost of chemotherapy-induced FN among NHL patients in European and Australian clinical practice is substantial; a sizable percentage is attributable to follow-on care and subsequent FN events.