Research Article| Volume 39, ISSUE 6, P1221-1232.e4, June 2017

Microcosting Study of Rituximab Subcutaneous Injection Versus Intravenous Infusion



      The goal of this study is to identify and compare all direct costs of intravenous and subcutaneous rituximab given to patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in the Netherlands.


      Using a prospective, observational, bottom-up microcosting study, we collected primary data on the direct medical costs of the preparation, administration, and acquisition of rituximab. Drug costs and costs of drug wastage, labor costs, material costs, and outpatient costs were identified using standardized forms, structured using prices from official pricelists, and compared for the intravenous and subcutaneous forms of rituximab.


      Measurements were taken on 53 rituximab administrations (33 intravenous and 20 subcutaneous) and on 13 rituximab preparation (7 intravenous and 6 subcutaneous). The mean total costs were €2176.77 for the intravenous infusion and €1911.09 for the subcutaneous injection. The estimated difference of €265.17 (95% CI, €231.99–`€298.35) per administration was mainly attributable to differences in time spent in the chemotherapy unit, related outpatient costs, drug wastage, and drug costs.


      Rituximab administered in the form of subcutaneous injection is less costly than its intravenous form. With their equal effectiveness taken into account, subcutaneous rituximab administration can result in significant savings when transferred to the total diffuse large B-cell lymphoma population in the Netherlands.

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