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Formulary. 1995 Jul;30(7):388-93.

Pegaspargase versus asparaginase in adult ALL: a pharmacoeconomic assessment.

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Saint Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Asparaginase is an effective treatment for patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Unfortunately, asparaginase therapy is associated with a high incidence of hypersensitivity reactions (up to 73%), including life-threatening anaphylaxis, and its half-life of approximately 20 hours necessitates daily administration. Pegaspargase, a modification of L-asparaginase, has a longer half-life (357 hours), a decreased incidence of hypersensitivity reactions, and when doses every 14 days, provides comparable efficacy to asparaginase; however, it is much more expensive per single-dose vial ($980.00 vs $52.38). To determine the pharmacoeconomic impact of the two agents, we conducted a cost-minimization analysis for three common adult ALL protocols. Results showed that pegaspargase was significantly less costly to payers on an inpatient or outpatient basis and warranted addition to our formulary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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