To examine treatment costs of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in adult outpatients given oral (p.o.) levofloxacin or cefuroxime axetil as initial therapy.
Patients with a primary diagnosis of CAP were enrolled in a multicenter, prospective, randomized, open-label, active-controlled Phase III clinical trial. Both inpatients and outpatients were assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups: (1) intravenous (i.v.) or p.o. levofloxacin; or (2) i.v. ceftriaxone and/or p.o. cefuroxime axetil.
To make legitimate and meaningful cost comparisons between similar types of patients receiving drugs via the same route of administration (i.e., orally), this outpatient economic study examined the resource utilization of the 211 patients enrolled as outpatients who received oral formulations as initial treatment (levofloxacin, 103 patients; cefuroxime axetil, 108 patients). Resource utilization data and clinical trial data were collected concurrently. To generate cost estimates, Medicare cost estimates for resources were multiplied by the resource units used by patients in each treatment arm.
Cost estimates indicated a total cost difference that favored the levofloxacin group (base case: $169; sensitivity analysis: $223 [P = .008]). The results for the base case were not significant (P = .094). In addition, within the cost categories, there was a statistically significant study drug cost differential favoring levofloxacin ($86; P = .0001 for both the base case and sensitivity analysis).
Oral levofloxacin is less costly than oral cefuroxime axetil in the outpatient treatment of adults with CAP.