Colon cancer presents at high incidence and its treatment generates an important economic impact in hospitals. In Spain, it is mandatiory for the sponsors of clinical trials to supply the investigational drugs without charge to the national health system. Avoided cost is defined as the cost that would have had to be paid if the patient did not participate in a clinical trial with the free contribution of the drugs. The objective of the main study was to calculate the cost avoided in drugs derived from the participation of patients in clinical trials of colon cancer in a university hospital.
This was a retrospective observational study. A data cut was made in April 2018 and the active clinical trials in colon cancer were selected. All patients who had participated in them were included, regardless of the date of inclusion. Sources of data collection: Pharmacy Service database, Farmis Oncofarm® electronic Citostatic prescription program, and Clinical Records. The cost of the cycles received in the investigation was estimated for each patient and the cost of the standard treatment during the same period was calculated. For this, the following variables were collected: name of the trial, drug in research, number of cycles, duration, cost of treatment in the experimental arm and in the comparator or standard therapy. The costs of the medication associated with chemotherapy were not taken into account.
Four clinical trials in colon cancer have been included, where a total of 16 patients with a mean age of 60.9 years participated and 5 investigational drugs were studied. The average duration of each patient’s treatment within the trial was 6.7 months. The global avoided cost in the 4 trials is 269,074.85 Euros, which means an average avoided cost per patient of 16,817.17 Euros and an average avoided cost for each trial in colon cancer of 67,268.71 Euros.
Clinical trials contribute to scientific advances, help the sustainability of the Public Health System and allow patients access to novel treatments. It is necessary to promote clinical research since it has proven to be favorable for patients, as well as for clinicians and institutions.
Hospital Universitario La Paz.
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.