Cost of invasive fungal infections in the era of new diagnostics and expanded treatment options

Pharmacotherapy. 2012 Oct;32(10):890-901. doi: 10.1002/j.1875-9114.2012.01124.


Study objective: To determine the true institutional cost of treating invasive fungal infections in light of recent advances in diagnostic techniques and antifungal therapies for both treatment and prophylaxis of these infections.

Design: Economic analysis.

Setting: Academic medical center.

Patients: A total of 200 patients discharged from the hospital during 2004-2005 with a diagnosis of proven, probable, or possible aspergillosis, cryptococcosis, invasive candidiasis, or zygomycosis (cases). Patients were matched in a 1:1 fashion with patients having similar underlying disease states but no invasive fungal infections (controls).

Measurements and main results: Data on demographic and clinical characteristics were collected from patients' medical records. In addition, information concerning each patient's hospitalization was recorded. Resource utilization data for a patient's entire hospitalization were collected from the hospital's charge databases and converted to costs. These data were compared between the cases and the controls. After adjusting for race-ethnicity, sex, age, and comorbid illnesses, mean total hospital cost for cases was $32,196 more than for controls (p<0.0001). Nonpharmacy costs accounted for the majority (63%) of this difference, and an additional $3996 was attributed to systemic antifungal drugs. The mean length of hospital stay was longer for cases than controls (25.8 vs 18.4 days).

Conclusion: Treatment of patients with invasive fungal infections was associated with a significantly higher inpatient hospital cost compared with controls. However, due to new diagnostic techniques and effective antifungal therapy, the relative cost of these infections appears to be at least stable compared with the previous decade. These findings can help assess the utility of cost-avoidance strategies such as antifungal prophylaxis and application of appropriate treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifungal Agents / economics
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy
  • Aspergillosis / economics
  • Aspergillosis / physiopathology
  • Aspergillosis / therapy*
  • Candidiasis, Invasive / drug therapy
  • Candidiasis, Invasive / economics
  • Candidiasis, Invasive / therapy*
  • Cryptococcosis / drug therapy
  • Cryptococcosis / economics
  • Cryptococcosis / physiopathology
  • Cryptococcosis / therapy*
  • Drug Costs
  • Female
  • Hospital Costs
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult
  • Zygomycosis / drug therapy
  • Zygomycosis / economics
  • Zygomycosis / physiopathology
  • Zygomycosis / therapy


  • Antifungal Agents