Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Potential cost savings of erythropoietin administration in end-stage renal disease.

Hynes DM, Stroupe KT, Greer JW, Reda DJ, Frankenfield DL, Kaufman JS, Henderson WG, Owen WF, Rocco MV, Wish JB, Kang J, Feussner JR. Potential cost savings of erythropoietin administration in end-stage renal disease. The American journal of medicine. 2002 Feb 15; 112(3):169-75.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: In a Department of Veterans Affairs randomized controlled trial, a lower dose of recombinant human erythropoietin (epoetin) was shown to attain target hematocrit levels when administered subcutaneously compared with intravenously. Since epoetin is expensive, optimizing the therapeutic effect of epoetin using a strategy that includes subcutaneous administration could lead to substantial cost savings. METHODS: We used an economic cost projection model to estimate potential savings to the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease Program that could occur during a transition from intravenous to subcutaneous administration of epoetin among hemodialysis patients. Data included clinical results from the Department of Veterans Affairs randomized controlled trial, the 1998 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' End-Stage Renal Disease Core Indicators Survey, and the 1997-1998 Medicare claims files. In sensitivity analyses, we varied the expected dose reductions (10% to 50%) and the proportion of patients (25% to 100%) who switched to subcutaneous administration. RESULTS: Medicare cost savings were estimated at $47 to $142 million annually as 25% to 75% of hemodialysis patients who received epoetin intravenously switched to subcutaneous administration while reducing the dose by 32%. A minimal reduction (10%) in epoetin dose would result in Medicare cost savings of an estimated $15 to $44 million annually. CONCLUSION: Administering epoetin subcutaneously would provide substantial cost savings to Medicare. For the transition to occur, consensus among stakeholders is needed, especially among patients whose treatment satisfaction and health-related quality of life would be most affected.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.