Patients with severe autoimmune thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) experience acute hematologic emergencies during disease flares and a lifelong threat for relapse. Rituximab, in addition to steroids and therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE), has been shown to mitigate relapse risk. A barrier to care in initiating rituximab in the inpatient setting has been the presumed excessive cost of medication to the hospital. Retrospectively reviewing TTP admissions from 2004 to 2018 at our academic center, we calculated the actual inpatient cost of care. We then calculated the theoretical cost to the hospital of initiating rituximab in the inpatient setting for both initial TTP and relapse TTP cohorts, with the hypothesis that preventing sufficient future TTP admissions offsets the cost of initiating rituximab in all patients with TTP. At a median follow-up of 55 months in the initial TTP cohort, rituximab use produced a projected cost savings of $905 906 and would have prevented 185 inpatient admission days and saved 137 TPE procedures. In the relapse TTP setting, rituximab use produced a projected cost savings of $425 736 and would have prevented 86 inpatient admission days and saved 64 TPE procedures. From a hospital cost standpoint, cost of rituximab should no longer be a barrier to initiating inpatient rituximab in both initial and relapse TTP settings.
© 2020 by The American Society of Hematology.