IDWeek 2019 — Oral ribavirin provides substantial cost savings in treating RSV


  • Devona Williams, Pharm.D.
  • Conference Reports
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Takeaway

  • Use of oral ribavirin leads to substantial cost avoidance with comparable clinical efficacy to aerosol administration for transplant recipients.

Why this matters

  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection can lead to significant morbidity and mortality for immunocompromised transplant patients.
  • Aerosol ribavirin is FDA approved for treatment of RSV infection; however, there are administration barriers and increased cost associated with its use.

Study design

  • Single-center, retrospective quality improvement study.
  • Records for pediatric and adult solid organ or stem cell transplant patients who were prescribed ribavirin were reviewed.
  • An economic analysis was performed based on drug acquisition cost.

Key results 

  • There were no observed poor clinical outcomes or adverse events in oral ribavirin patients. 
  • Substantial cost difference per dose for oral and aerosol: $1.42 vs $12,255.
  • Cost avoidance per 206 patient-days: $2,522,915.

Limitations

  • Statistical analysis not performed for clinical outcomes.
  • Single-center retrospective study.
  • Presented at a conference without peer review.