Clinical practice and costs of treating catheter-related infections with teicoplanin or vancomycin

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Steven Simoens
Nik De Corte
Gert Laekeman


Glycopeptide, Teicoplanin, Vancomycin, Cost minimisation analysis, Belgium


Objectives: To elicit actual clinical practice of treating intensive care unit patients with catheter-related infections with teicoplanin or vancomycin from a hospital perspective. As clinical trials have demonstrated similar efficacy of these glycopeptides, a cost-minimisation analysis was also carried out.

Methods: The Delphi survey technique was used to gather the opinion of nine physicians regarding resource utilization associated with teicoplanin and vancomycin. Treatment costs considered were costs of drug acquisition, costs of material and nursing time required for drug preparation and administration, and costs of laboratory tests.

Results: Physicians tend to administer higher loading doses of teicoplanin than recommended in the drug information leaflet. Even though evidence of the effectiveness of vancomycin is mainly derived from trials using multiple-daily administration schedules, five physicians administered it on a once-daily basis. Mean treatment costs amounted to 1,272€ with teicoplanin and 1,041€ with vancomycin. Higher treatment costs with teicoplanin arose from more elevated drug acquisition costs (1,076€ versus 795€). Treatment with vancomycin was associated with higher costs of laboratory tests as a result of more frequent monitoring of serum concentrations (217€ versus 150€).

Conclusions: This analysis of clinical practice and costs indicated that the resource utilisation advantages from fewer laboratory tests with teicoplanin partially offset higher drug acquisition costs. In addition to efficacy and costs, other factors such as route of administration, patient profile and adverse effects need to inform the choice between teicoplanin and vancomycin.

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