BackgroundBeta-lactams are the mainstay for treating methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) infections complicated by bacteremia due to superior outcomes compared with vancomycin. With approximately 11% of inpatients reporting a penicillin (PCN) allergy, many patients receive suboptimal treatment for MSSA bacteremia.
ObjectiveEvaluate the cost-effectiveness of penicillin skin testing (PST) in adult patients with self-reported PCN allergy in an inpatient setting undergoing treatment for MSSA bacteremia.
MethodsA decision analytic model was developed comparing an acute care PST intervention to a scenario with no confirmatory allergy testing. The primary outcome was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) from the health-sector perspective over a 1-year time horizon using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) as the measure for effectiveness. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess the uncertainty of the ICER estimation.
ResultsOver a 1-year time horizon, PST services applied to all MSSA bacteremia patients reporting a PCN-allergy would result in a cost per patient of $12,559 and 0.73 QALYs while no PST services would have a higher cost per patient of $13,219 and 0.66 QALYs per patient. This resulted in a cost-effectiveness estimate of -$9,429 per QALY gained. Varying the cost of implementing PST services determined a break-even point of $959.98 where any PST cost less than this amount would actually be cost saving.
ConclusionsPatients reporting a PCN allergy on admission may receive sub-optimal alternative therapies to beta-lactams, such as vancomycin, for MSSA bacteremia. This economic analysis demonstrates that inpatient PST services confirming PCN allergy are cost-effective for patients with MSSA bacteremia.