Economic comparison of rasburicase and allopurinol for treatment of tumor lysis syndrome in pediatric patients

Eaddy, Michael; Seal, Brian; Tangirala, Muralikrishna; Davies, Elizabeth Hackney; O'Day, Ken
December 2010
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;12/15/2010, Vol. 67 Issue 24, p2110
Academic Journal
Purpose. Economic outcomes of rasburicase and allopurinol for treatment of tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) in pediatric patients were compared. Methods. Claims data from a large hospital database were used to conduct the analysis. Pediatric patients diagnosed with TLS and administered rasburicase or allopurinol within two days of hospital admission were eligible for inclusion. Patients were excluded if they were age .18 years or received hemodialysis on admission. Patients receiving rasburicase were propensity score matched to allopurinol-treated patients based on sex, race, hospital type, provider type, payer type, admission source, use of electrolyte modification therapy, and comorbid diagnoses. Differences in health care costs, length of stay (LOS), and duration of subsequent critical care were assessed using g-distributed generalized linear models with a log-link function. Results. A total of 63 allopurinol-treated and 63 rasburicase-treated patients were matched in the analysis. The mean age of patients was 7.4 years, and girls comprised 27% of the sample. Rasburicase-treated patients incurred a mean cost of $30,470 per hospitalization, compared with $35,165 for allopurinol-treated patients (p = 0.427). Duration of critical care was significantly shorter for rasburicase-treated patients (1.4 days versus 2.5 days for allopurinol-treated patients, p = 0.0001); however, mean LOS did not statistically differ between groups, averaging 13.8 days for patients treated with rasburicase and 14.9 days for the allopurinol-treated group. Conclusion. Examination of claims from a large hospital database showed that treatment with rasburicase, compared with allopurinol, was associated with a significant reduction in critical care days but not with a significant difference in mean LOS or total cost.


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