Cost analysis applied to postoperative analgesia regimens: a comparison between parecoxib and propacetamol
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Postoperative pain management represents a significant part of perioperative costs. Non-opioid analgesics are often used in combination with opiates to improve pain relief and reduce opioid-related side effects.
To assess the costs and cost efficacy of intravenous (i.v.) parecoxib versus i.v. propacetamol in postoperative pain.
A prospective, randomised, double-blind, clinical evaluation was performed to compare the efficacy of a single bolus injection of 40 mg parecoxib and 2 g propacetamol, administered twice within 12 h following surgical repair of inguinal hernia. Resources for each arm of treatment were collected, and total costs were determined, including costs of drug acquisition, devices and labour for preparation of the two analgesic drugs. Cost-efficacy analysis was performed as the cost to achieve complete satisfaction with analgesia. Incremental cost efficacy was determined as the ratio between the differential costs and the differential patient satisfaction. The analysis was performed from an institutional perspective over a 12 h time frame.
A total of 182 patients was evaluated. Pain at rest and morphine consumption were observed to be reduced in the parecoxib group. The percentages of patients totally satisfied with their pain management 12 h after surgery were 87% in the parecoxib-treated group and 70% in the propacetamol-treated group (P < 0.01). The average cost per patient was higher in the parecoxib group, € 6.65 vs € 5.28 in the propacetamol group). Cost per patient satisfied was calculated at a mean value of € 7.64 for parecoxib and € 7.54 for propacetamol. Incremental cost per additional patient satisfied was € 8.02 in the parecoxib-treated group when preparation costs were included. Sensitivity analysis (±15%), including a bootstrap method applied to costs and efficacy, did not modify these conclusions.
Parecoxib exhibits higher cost and greater patient satisfaction than does propacetamol. From a cost-efficacy approach, incremental cost per additional patient satisfied for parecoxib treatment must be analysed in light of overall perioperative pharmaceutical cost.
KeywordsAnalgesics Cost effectiveness Parecoxib Postoperative pain Propacetamol Surgery
The authors wish to thank John Cochran for his assistance in preparing the manuscript. This study was supported by an educational grant from Pfizer. This study was presented, in part, at the 33rd ESCP meeting in Stockholm in May 2005.
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