Fort Worth, TX, USA – Venous leg ulcers (VLUs) affect up to 2.5 million people per year in the USA at an estimated cost of 14.9 billion dollars annually. The longer it takes to heal a VLU, the greater the financial burden to the health care system. Cellular/tissue-derived products (CTPs) are often used in conjunction with compression therapy to treat refractory cases of VLU, however, little is known regarding the cost-effectiveness of the most commonly used CTPs.
Researchers from Strategic Solutions Inc. conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis of three frequently used CTP VLU therapies using economic and clinical outcome information available in the medical literature. The study determined that a porcine derived extracellular matrix (ECM) was a cost saving therapeutic option when compared to human skin equivalent (HSE) and living skin equivalent (LSE). The expected wound closure rates were 75% for ECM, 70% for LSE and 69% for HSE. The cost per episode of VLU care was estimated at $6,732 for ECM compared to $10,638 for HSE and $11,237 for LSE.
“The higher wound closure rate shown by the ECM product provided substantial clinical benefit for patients with an economic benefit for payers. The longer a wound remains unhealed the greater the additional costs,” said lead researcher, Dr. Marissa J. Carter, PhD. “Closing the wound earlier with an ECM improves patient outcomes, reduces health care resource utilization and lowers the overall costs of VLU care.”
The full study, “Cost-Effectiveness of Three Adjunct Cellular/Tissue-Derived Products Used in the Management of Chronic Venous Leg Ulcers,” is published in Value in Health.