Objective: To assess whether the treatment with levosimendan is more expensive than the usual one with dobutamine, since price of medications does not usually represent the greatest expense in the treatment of cardiac decompensation.
Methods: The cost of treatment of 18 inpatients with cardiac decompensation, 9 of which treated with dobutamine (dobuta group) and 9 with levosimendan (levo group), was compared. Groups were similar concerning age, sex, functional class and cardiac function.
Results: Treatment costs were similar for both groups. In the levo group, the costs with the drug were higher than in the dobuta group, but those related to the length of stay in intensive care unit and to the material used during admission were lower. Levo-drug: R$ 5,414.00; material: R$ 399.90; hospital daily rates: R$ 5,061.20; professional honorarium: R$ 3,241.80; total costs: R$ 14,117.00. Dobuta-drug: R$ 2,320.10; materials: R$ 1,665.70; hospital daily rates: R$ 6,261.90; professional honorarium: R$ 3,894.30; total costs: R$ 14,142.00.
Conclusion: Despite the higher price of levosimendan, the global cost of the treatment was similar for patients who were treated either with dobutamine or levosimendan. Patients who were treated with levosimendan had a shorter length of stay in intensive care unit.