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Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA), a common cause of anemia in the world, is a frequently neglected disease that represents the main extraintestinal manifestation affecting patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (1). The release of new intravenous (IV) iron compounds represents a great opportunity for both physicians and patients, but the higher costs might hold back their optimal diffusion. A Health Technology Assessment (HTA) approach was used to provide insights on the sustainability of the IV iron formulations in a hospital setting, with a special focus on ferric carboxymaltose.
Epidemiology of IBD, as well as IDA associated with these conditions, was assessed with a systematic appraisal of the published literature. Data on efficacy and safety of IV iron formulations currently used in Italy were retrieved from the available medical electronic databases. A hospital based cost-analysis of the outpatient delivery of IV iron treatments was performed. Organizational and ethical implications were discussed.
The reported prevalence of anemia in patients with IBD varies markedly from 10 to 73 percent for Crohn's Disease and from 9 to 67 percent for Ulcerative Colitis. Although there are no studies on direct comparison of different IV iron preparations, the literature indicates good efficacy and safety profiles of these formulations. However, ferric carboxymaltose seemed to provide a better and faster correction of hemoglobin and serum ferritin levels in iron-deficient patients (2,3). Our analyses indicated that ferric carboxymaltose, in spite of a greater price, would have positive benefits for the hospital, in terms of reduced costs related to individual patient management, and for the patients themselves, by reducing the number of infusions and accesses to health facilities.
This hospital-based HTA reports an overall positive organizational, economic and ethical evaluation for the sustainable introduction of ferric carboxymaltose in the Italian outpatient setting.
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