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Pediatrics. 2009 Nov;124(5):1325-32. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-3214. Epub 2009 Oct 19.

Economic evaluation of inhaled nitric oxide in preterm infants undergoing mechanical ventilation.

Author information

  • 1Division of Newborn Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. jzupanci@bidmc.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

In the previously reported Nitric Oxide for Chronic Lung Disease (NO CLD) trial, ventilated preterm infants who received a course of inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) between 7 and 21 days of life had a significant improvement in survival without bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), as well as a shorter duration of admission and ventilation. However, the price for the drug may be a barrier to widespread use. We sought to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of iNO therapy to prevent BPD in infants of <1250 g birth weight.

METHODS:

We used patient-level data from the NO CLD randomized trial. The study took a third-party payer perspective and measured costs and effects through hospital discharge. We applied previously reported hospital per-diem costs stratified according to intensity of ventilatory support, nitric oxide costs from standard market prices, and professional (physician) fees from the Medicare fee schedule. We compared log transformed costs by using multivariable modeling and performed incremental cost-effectiveness analysis with estimation of uncertainty through nonparametric bootstrapping.

RESULTS:

The mean cost per infant was $193125 in the placebo group and $194702 in the iNO group (adjusted P = .17). The point estimate for the incremental cost per additional survivor without BPD was $21297. For infants in whom iNO was initiated between 7 and 14 days of life, the mean cost per infant was $187407 in the placebo group and $181525 in the iNO group (adjusted P = .46). In this group of early treated infants, there was a 71% probability that iNO actually decreased costs while improving outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite its higher price relative to many other neonatal therapies, iNO in this trial was not associated with higher costs of care, an effect that is likely due to its impact on length of stay and ventilation. Indeed, for infants who receive nitric oxide between 7 and 14 days of life, the therapy seemed to lower costs while improving outcomes.

PMID:
19841125
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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