Objectives: Intravenous iron and erythropoiesis-stimulating agents are used to manage anemia in chronic hemodialysis patients. The interchangeability between intravenous iron sucrose preparations is still debated. We evaluated how cost and effectiveness were impacted when chronic hemodialysis patients were switched from an original iron sucrose product to an iron sucrose similar preparation.
Methods: A single center sequential observational retrospective study was conducted at a French hospital. The same patients were followed during two 24-week periods (iron sucrose in period P1; and iron sucrose similar in period P2). Anemia-related treatment costs were assessed in P1 and P2 from a hospital perspective. Sensitivity analyses were performed to assess the robustness of the results.
Results: Our study included 109 patients (105 analyzed patients and 4 patients with missing data). The mean hemoglobin level was not different between P1 and P2 (p = 0.92). The mean differential cost per patient was + €13.90 (P2 - P1). The factors with the biggest impact on this result were the prices of epoetin alfa and iron sucrose.
Conclusion: This cost minimization analysis suggests that for chronic hemodialysis patients, iron sucrose and iron sucrose similar have the same efficacy and that using iron sucrose similar was more expensive in 66.7% of iterations.
Keywords: Iron sucrose; anemia; chronic hemodialysis; cost-minimization analysis; erythropoiesis-stimulating agent; iron sucrose similar.