Author + information
- Received July 8, 1992
- Revision received October 8, 1992
- Accepted December 1, 1992
- Published online June 1, 1993.
- Neil R. Powe, MD, MPH, MBA∗,a,b,c,1,
- Amy J. Davidoff, MSa,b,c,
- Richard D. Moore, MD, MHSa,b,c,2,
- Jeffrey A. Brinker, MD, FACCa,b,c,
- Gerard F. Anderson, PhDa,b,c,
- Marc R. Litt, MD∗,
- Ramana Gopalan, MDa,b,c,
- Sandra L. Graziano, PhDa,b,c and
- Earl P. Steinberg, MD, MPPa,b,c
- ↵∗Address for correspondence: Neil R. Powe, MD, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Carnegie 284,600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21287.
Objectives. We conducted an economic analysis to assess the extent to which a reduction in adverse drug reactions induced by low osmolality compared with high osmolality contrast media during diagnostic angiocardiography would result in savings to hospitals, society and third-party payers that would offset the substantially higher price of low osmolality contrast medium.
Background. Substitution of low osmolality for high osmolality contrast media in the approximately 1 million diagnostic angiocardiographic procedures performed each year in the United States could substantially increase health care costs. Costeffectiveness estimates should include savings that might occur through reduced costs of managing adverse drug reactions.
Methods. In a randomized clinical trial of 505 persons undergoing diagnostic angiography with either high osmolality or low osmolality contrast medium, we measured and compared 1) material costs of contrast media, and 2) costs from three perspectives of incremental resources used to manage contrast-related adverse drug reactions. We also performed sensitivity analyses to examine the effect of different assumptions with regard to relative risk, absolute risk and costs of adverse drug reactions on estimates of net cost of use of high osmolality and low osmolality contrast media.
Results. One-hundred thirty-seven (54.2%) of 253 patients receiving high osmolality contrast medium and 44 (17.5%) of 252 patients receiving low osmolality contrast medium experienced adverse drug reactions. The average cost (from society's perspective) of resources used to manage adverse drug reactions per patient undergoing angiography was significantly (p = 0.0001) greater for high osmolality (mean $249) verus low osmolality (mean $92) contrast medium. Differential costs (from the hospital's perspective) were $67 greater for high osmolality contrast medium. Charges and professional fees (from the payer's perspective) were $182 greater for high osmolality (mean $312) than for low osmolality (mean $130) contrast medium (p = 0.42, NS). The higher differential and average costs of managing adverse drug reactions with high osmolality contrast medium offset 33% and 75%, respectively, of the $207 difference in mean material costs, but these estimates are sensitive to infrequent high cost cases.
Conclusions. Although low osmolality contrast medium is not cost-saving in diagnostic angiocardiography, its higher price is partially offset by lower management costs of adverse drug reactions. The cost offset for the hospital is lower than that for society and may not be realized by third-party payers. These methods and results may be useful in establishing clinical and payment guidelines for use of alternative contrast media in diagnostic angiocardiography.
↵1 Dr. Powe is a Teaching and Research Scholar of the American College of Physicians, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
↵2 Dr. Moore is a Scholar in Pharmacoepidemiology of Burroughs Wellcome, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
☆ This study was funded by a grant from Sanofi Winthrop, New York, New York. It was presented in part at the 64th Annual Scientific Session of the American Heart Association, Anaheim, California, November 1991.
- Received July 8, 1992.
- Revision received October 8, 1992.
- Accepted December 1, 1992.