Introduction: Sugammadex rapidly reverses the effects of rocuronium- and vecuronium-induced neuromuscular blockade (NMB), offering a more complete and predictable NMB recovery than cholinesterase inhibitors. Despite clinical benefits, cost pressures on hospital budgets influence the choice of the NMB reversal method. This study evaluated clinical and healthcare system payer's budget impacts associated with sugammadex in the US for routine reversal of moderate or deep rocuronium- or vecuronium-induced NMB in adults undergoing surgery.
Methods: A 1-year decision analytic model was constructed reflecting a set of procedures using rocuronium or vecuronium that resulted in moderate or deep NMB at the end of surgery. Two scenarios were considered for a hypothetical cohort of 100,000 patients: without sugammadex versus with sugammadex. Comparators included neostigmine (+glycopyrrolate) and no neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs). Total costs (in 2019 US dollars) to a healthcare system [net of costs of reversal agents and overall cost offsets via reduction in postoperative pulmonary complications (PPC)] were compared.
Results: A total of 9971 surgical procedures utilized rocuronium or vecuronium, resulting in moderate (91.0% of cases) or deep (9.0%) blockade at the end of surgeries. In the with sugammadex scenario, sugammadex replaced neostigmine in 4156 of 9585 procedures versus the without sugammadex scenario that used only neostigmine for NMB reversal. Introducing sugammadex reduced PPC events by 12% (58 cases) among the modeled procedures, leading to a budget impact of -$3,079,703 (-$309 per modeled procedure, or a 10.9% reduction in total costs). The results did not vary qualitatively in one-way sensitivity analyses.
Conclusions: The additional costs of sugammadex for the reversal of rocuronium- or vecuronium-induced NMB could be offset by improved outcomes (i.e., reduced PPC events), and potentially lead to overall healthcare budgetary savings versus reversal with neostigmine or spontaneous recovery. This study provides insights into savings that can be obtained beyond the anesthesia budget, reducing the broader clinical and budgetary burden on the hospital.
Keywords: Bridion; Budget impact; Cost; Neuromuscular blockade; Post-operative complications; Sugammadex.