Collagenase injections for Dupuytren’s in Australian public hospitals: a cost analysis

Main Article Content

Devlin Elliott https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3688-988X
Randy Bindra
Sujoy Roychowdhury
Tracy Comens
Jason Fletcher

Keywords

collagenase, Dupuytrens, cost, contracture, public health

Abstract

Background: Collagenase clostridium histolyticum (CCH) injection is an established alternative to surgical fasciectomy in selected patients with Dupuytren’s contracture. Collagenase is currently not listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme creating a barrier to its use in the Australian public health system. This study compares the cost of CCH delivered in an outpatient setting with a comparable surgical fasciectomy cohort, calculated retrospectively.


Methods: A retrospective audit of hospital data was conducted to determine the cost of single-digit surgical fasciectomy compared to CCH treatment delivered in an outpatient setting. Medicare Benefits Schedule coding was used to identify surgical fasciectomy patients between March 2014 and April 2015. The CCH group was prospectively followed from June 2014 to March 2016.


Results: Thirty-seven patients were successfully treated with CCH, with one patient requiring two injections. This group required less follow-up visits (4.0 outpatient clinic and 4.9 allied health) compared to the surgical group (n=38; 4.4 outpatient clinic and 6.1 allied health). The total cost of treatment for the CCH group was AU$2589 compared to a mean total of AU$6155 for the surgical group (AU$3574– AU$14,599)—a potential saving of AU$119,698.


Conclusion: The overall cost of CCH is substantially lower than surgical fasciectomy despite the cost of the medication (AU$1206). Additionally, CCH patients avoid a visit to the operating room thereby freeing up theatre time that is generally under pressure with long public waiting lists.

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