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Oral prednisolone is more cost-effective than oral indomethacin for treating patients with acute gout-like arthritis

Cattermole, Giles N., Man, Chi Yin, Cheng, Chi Hung, Graham, Colin A. and Rainer, Timothy Hudson 2009. Oral prednisolone is more cost-effective than oral indomethacin for treating patients with acute gout-like arthritis. European Journal of Emergency Medicine 16 (5) , pp. 261-266. 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e32832a083f

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Objectives: Acute gouty arthritis is often treated with NSAIDs, but recent studies have suggested that treatment with prednisolone has at least equivalent analgesic efficacy and fewer adverse effects. No formal economic analysis has been performed earlier. In this study, we aimed to compare the economic impact of oral indomethacin therapy and oral prednisolone therapy in the treatment of acute gout in patients presenting to an emergency department in Hong Kong. Methods: Data from a previously published randomized controlled trial were used to compare the costs of the two treatment options. Direct, incremental costs incurred in the 2 weeks after the initial presentation were considered from the perspective of the healthcare provider. Costs were subdivided into those incurred in the emergency department phase; admission on day 1 to the emergency department's observation ward; admission subsequently to the general medical ward for adverse events and reattendance to the hospital outpatients' or emergency department. Results: The prednisolone strategy resulted in cost savings in the emergency department of HK$5.67 (US$0.73; [pounds]0.37) and in medical admissions of HK$1727.48 (US$221.47; [pounds]111.45) per patient treated. Overall, the average saving with prednisolone was HK$1235 (US$158.33; [pounds]79.68) per patient treated, which was equivalent to one admission bed/day saved for every two patients treated. Treatment for each of the six patients in the indomethacin group admitted for serious adverse effects cost the healthcare provider HK$13 244 (US$1697.95; [pounds]854.45). Conclusion: Treatment of acute gouty arthritis with a 5-day course of prednisolone is significantly more cost-effective than treatment with indomethacin.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: corticosteroid; cost-effectiveness; gout; indomethacin; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug; prednisolone.
Publisher: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
ISSN: 0969-9546
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:15

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