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J Cyst Fibros. 2003 Sep;2(3):120-8.

Economic evaluation of Tobramycin nebuliser solution in cystic fibrosis.

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Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, CB2 2QQ, Cambridge, UK.



The cost effectiveness of inhaled TOBIR tobramycin nebuliser solution (TNS) in CF and chronic pulmonary Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection has been shown in US but not in European studies.


An economic evaluation of TNS was undertaken in children and adults. Lung function and resource utilisation were recorded for 24 months before and during TNS therapy. Interventions were costed.


Forty-one patients received TNS; 30 of them matched with a paired control on usual therapy. TNS cases received more inhaled and IV antibiotics in the year before TNS than controls, and were hospitalised more. In the TNS treated group mean days in hospital before and after (change) were 32.0, 24.2 (-7.8); days on IV antibiotics 55.4, 38.9 (-16.4); total cost 22,102 pounds, 28,394 pounds (+ 6292 pounds), composed of cost of TNS 0 pounds, 10,010 pounds (+ 10,010 pounds), cost of hospitalisation 10,897 pounds, 8552 pounds (- 2345 pounds), cost of drugs 11,205 pounds, 9832 pounds (- 1374 pounds). In 19 patients aged < 18 the change in days hospitalised was -10.7 and days on IVs -20.2. Incremental cost was 3830 pounds.


TNS was associated with clinically and socially important reductions of hospital attendances and parenteral antibiotics. This would improve patients' quality of life and reduce interference with work and schooling. Its maximal acquisition cost of 10,010 pounds may be reduced by delays in prescribing and dispensing, and was offset by savings of approximately 3500-6200 pounds.

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