Drivers of Costs in ID Treatment

Jason Gallagher, PharmD, FCCP, FIDSA, BCPS, explains some of the factors which underlie the cost of ID treatment.

Segment Description: Jason Gallagher, PharmD, FCCP, FIDSA, BCPS, clinical professor at Temple University College of Pharmacy and editor-in-chief of Contagion®, explains some of the factors which underlie the cost of ID treatment.

Interview Transcript (Modified Slightly for Readability):

Gallagher: The biggest costs encounter with the treatment of infectious diseases — the easy one to focus on is obviously the cost of the agents themselves. And I'm a pharmacist, I can't pretend that that is not important.

But it is not the major driver of those issues. It's just the easiest one to find and to pick apart and critique. The bigger drivers are lengthened hospital stays. It's a difficult thing to prove "I got that patient out of here faster," because of the use of this potentially more expensive agent, or switching someone to an oral agent in order to discharge them.

That really does drive cost — that and ICU time more than anything else. Every patient with an infection is going to be in the hospital longer than a patient without an infection. And the longer a patient is in the hospital, the higher their risk for infection is. The sooner that we can move them out of that institution, the better off they will be overall.