A multinational randomized controlled trial has shown a trend toward early discharge of patients taking oral linezolid versus intravenous vancomycin (IV) in the treatment of methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. Infection treatments resulting in shorter hospitalization durations are associated with cost savings from the hospital perspective.
To determine whether similar economic advantages are associated with oral linezolid, the costs and consequences of linezolid use following vancomycin IV versus the existing practice in the treatment of infections caused by MRSA were compared.
The charts of all patients admitted to one of three tertiary
care teaching hospitals between January 1, 1997 and August 31, 2000 and treated with vancomycin IV for an active MRSA infection (skin and soft tissue only) were reviewed. Based on the vancomycin IV chart review data set and a simulated linezolid data set, the clinical consequences and the associated costs of MRSA treatment with vancomycin IV, and oral and IV forms of linezolid were quantified and compared within the framework of a cost-consequence analysis.
Patients treated with oral and IV forms of linezolid compared
with the existing practice had a shorter length of stay and required fewer home IV care services, which resulted in a cost savings of $750 (2001 values) to the Canadian health care perspective.
The estimated cost savings associated with linezolid
use not only offset the higher acquisition cost of the anti-infective, but may be substantial to health care systems across Canada, especially as the incidence of MRSA continues to rise.