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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.
Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is an incurable disease and represents a significant clinical, economic, and social burden. The therapeutic scenario of mCRPC has completely changed over the last years with the approval of several treatments (1). Radium-223 is a new target-alpha therapy showing a significant survival benefit in mCRPC patients (2,3). The study aimed to evaluate the introduction of radium-223 in Italy using Health Technology Assessment methodology.
To assess epidemiological, clinical, economic, organizational, social, and ethical aspects, a literature review was carried out. A cost-effectiveness and a budget impact analysis were performed from the National Health Service (NHS) perspective to compare radium-223 with other treatments and determine the budgetary impact of the utilization of radium-223 for the treatment of mCRPC.
In Italy, prostate cancer represents the most diagnosed cancer in men and the third in the whole population. When the disease becomes metastatic, approximately 80 percent of patients develop bone metastases, commonly associated to skeletal-related events (SREs) with a significant impact on survival, quality of life, and costs (1). Radium-223 is a novel alpha particle emitting therapeutic agent which targets new bone growth surrounding bone metastases. Different from other radiopharmaceuticals, radium-223 prolongs overall survival with a favorable safety profile (2,3). In order to optimize patient outcome, the management of radium-223 should be viewed in a multidisciplinary context. The administration is quite simple and requires only basal shielding. Currently it can be administered in hospital inpatient settings and in some regions the outpatient usage is allowed. Finally, radium-223 showed a favorable budget impact profile and cost-effectiveness when compared with best supportive care and new therapeutic agents (abiraterone, enzalutamide, cabazitaxel) (1).
The introduction of radium-223 allows provision of a new therapy, offering a valid alternative to patient with mCRPC without any increase of costs for the NHS.
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