Background and objectives: Pharmaco-economics provides a standardized methodology for valid comparisons of interventions in different fields of health care. The role of pharmaco-economics in the safety of blood and blood products has, however, been very limited to date. This review discusses the pharmaco-economic evaluations of strategies to enhance blood product safety that have been published in the scientific literature.
Materials and methods: We reviewed pharmaco-economic methodology with special reference to cost-effectiveness analysis. We searched the literature for cost-effectiveness in blood product safety.
Result: Net costs per quality adjusted life-year (QALY) gained varied from cost-saving for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)- and hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody screening and leucoreduction to several million US dollars per QALY gained for solvent-detergent treatment of plasma, nucleic acid amplification testing and HIV p24 antigen testing.
Conclusions: To date the safety of blood transfusion has been largely determined by available technology, irrespective of pharmaco-economics. Net costs up to several million US dollars per QALY gained were found for interventions implemented.