Introduction: Hospitals are increasingly forced to consider the economics of technology use. We estimated the incremental cost-consequences of remifentanil-based analgo-sedation (RS) vs. conventional analgesia and sedation (CS) in patients requiring mechanical ventilation (MV) in the intensive care unit (ICU), using a modelling approach. Methods: A Markov model was developed to describe patient flow in the ICU. The hourly probabilities to move from one state to another were derived from UltiSAFE, a Dutch clinical study involving ICU patients with an expected MV-time of 2-3 days requiring analgesia and sedation. Study medication was either: CS (morphine or fentanyl combined with propofol, midazolam or lorazepam) or: RS (remifentanil, combined with propofol when required). Study drug costs were derived from the trial, whereas all other ICU costs were estimated separately in a Dutch micro-costing study. All costs were measured from the hospital perspective (price level of 2006). Patients were followed in the model for 28 days. We also studied the sub-population where weaning had started within 72 hours. Results: The average total 28-day costs were 15,626 euros with RS versus 17,100 euros with CS, meaning a difference in costs of 1474 euros (95% CI -2163, 5110). The average length-of-stay (LOS) in the ICU was 7.6 days in the RS group versus 8.5 days in the CS group (difference 1.0, 95% CI -0.7, 2.6), while the average MV time was 5.0 days for RS versus 6.0 days for CS. Similar differences were found in the subgroup analysis. Conclusions: Compared to CS, RS significantly decreases the overall costs in the ICU.

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Journal Critical Care (Print)
Al, M.J, van Hakkaart-van Roijen, L, Tan, S.S, & Bakker, J. (2010). Cost-consequence analysis of remifentanil-based analgo-sedation vs. conventional analgesia and sedation for patients on mechanical ventilation in the Netherlands. Critical Care (Print), 14(R195), 1–10. doi:10.1186/cc9313