May 02, 2019
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FMT spurs ‘huge’ drop in hospital costs for patients with C. diff

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Patients with recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection on average avoided 17 days of hospitalization in the first year after being treated with fecal microbiota transplantation, according to real-world data.

Christian L. Hvas, MD, PhD, of the department of hepatology and gastroenterology at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, said in a press release that implementing new therapies like FMT can be expensive, but it is worth it in the long run.

“The $26,500 (23,600 euros) that we save with each patient each year is calculated based on the costs of hospitalization, antibiotics and the feces transplantation,” Hvas said in the release. “Although a huge annual saving, it is a very conservative estimate. We only included hospital costs, and because half of the patients were below 60 years of age, factors such as loss of earnings should also be counted in.”

Hvas and colleagues conducted an observational, single-center study in Demark comprising 50 consecutive patients referred for recurrent CDI. They calculated patient-related costs 1 year before FMT and 1 year after FMT.

Researchers found that the total annual hospital costs per patient in the year before FMT were 56,415 euros (95% CI, 41,133–71,697), or approximately $63,300. In the year after FMT, total costs decreased to 32,816 euros (95% CI, 22,618–42,014), or approximately $36,800.

Investigators wrote that the decrease was mostly driven by the number of hospital admissions, which decreased from 37 days on average in the year before FMT to 20 days on average in the year after FMT.

“Here we have a form of treatment that on top of everything also saves society millions of euro every month,” Hvas said in the release. “If we can establish a system that safeguards both patients and donors, then it'll be of huge benefit for everyone. And we're well on the way to doing that.” – by Alex Young

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.