Intravenous iron supplementation is essential in hemodialysis (HD) patients to recover blood loss and to meet the requirements for erythropoiesis and, in patients receiving erythropoietin, to avert the development of iron deficiency. In a recent real-world study, Hofman et al. showed that a therapeutic shift from iron sucrose (IS) to ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) in HD patients improves iron parameters while reducing use of iron and erythropoietin. The objective of this economic analysis is to compare the weekly cost of treatment of FCM vs IS in hemodialysis patients in Italy. The consumption of drugs (iron and erythropoietin) was derived from Hofman’s data, while the value was calculated at Italian ex-factory prices. The analysis was carried on the total patient sample and in two subgroups: patients with iron deficiency and patients anemic at baseline. In addition, specific sensitivity analyses considered prices currently applied at the regional level, simulating the use of IS vs iron gluconate (FG) and epoetin beta vs epoetin alfa. In the base-case analysis, the switch to FCM generates savings of -€12.47 per patient/week (-21%) in all patients, and even greater savings in the subgroups with iron deficiency -€17.28 (-27%) and in anemic patients -€23.08 (-32%). Sensitivity analyses were always favorable to FCM and confirmed the robustness of the analysis. FCM may represent a cost-saving option for the NHS, and Italian real-world studies are needed to quantify the real consumption of resources in dialysis patients.
Keywords: ferric carboxymaltose, intravenous iron supplementation, chronic kidney disease, hemodialysis, drugs consumption, economic impact