Cost-effectiveness analysis of linezolid vs. vancomycin in treating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus complicated skin and soft tissue infections using a decision analytic model

Int J Clin Pract. 2009 Mar;63(3):376-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2008.01958.x.


Purpose: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of vancomycin vs. linezolid in complicated skin and soft tissue infections (cSSTIs) with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) using a decision analytic (DA) model.

Methods: A DA model was created to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of four treatment strategies in the treatment of MRSA cSSTIs: linezolid intravenous (i.v.) to oral (LIN), vancomycin i.v. inpatient treatment (VAN-1), vancomycin i.v. switch to oral linezolid (VAN-2) and vancomycin i.v. switch to outpatient vancomycin i.v. (VAN-3). Probabilities were determined from published clinical trials. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for the various strategies were the primary outcome. Univariate (one-way) sensitivity analysis and second-order Monte Carlo simulation (using 10,000 trials) were conducted for all parameters used in the model.

Results: The DA model predicted that VAN-3 was the most cost-effective strategy from the base-case analysis. Average cost-effectiveness ratio for this strategy was $26,831.42/cure. Univariate sensitivity analysis revealed that the model was sensitive to linezolid duration of inpatient stay and duration of i.v. vancomycin before switching to an oral agent or discharged with outpatient i.v. administration with vancomycin. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed that VAN-1 was dominated by LIN, but LIN was only 30% cost-effective compared with VAN-3. Acceptability curve showed that the probability of choosing LIN as a cost-effective strategy compared with VAN-1, VAN-2 and VAN-3 increased as the willingness-to-pay (WTP) increased.

Conclusion: Alternative vancomycin strategies (VAN-2 and VAN-3) that take advantage of early discharge opportunities were cost-effective compared with LIN. However, LIN's higher efficacy would make it cost-effective for payers with a high WTP threshold.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetamides / economics*
  • Acetamides / therapeutic use
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Humans
  • Linezolid
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus*
  • Oxazolidinones / economics*
  • Oxazolidinones / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Soft Tissue Infections / drug therapy
  • Soft Tissue Infections / economics*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / economics*
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / economics*
  • Vancomycin / economics*
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use


  • Acetamides
  • Oxazolidinones
  • Vancomycin
  • Linezolid