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Volume 49, Number 1, February 2016

Estimating the cost-effectiveness of linezolid for the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus nosocomial pneumonia in Taiwan 

Po-Chang Lin, Bruce C.M. Wang, Richard Kim, Andrew Magyar, Chung-Chih Lai, Ya-Wen Yang, Yhu-Chering Huang


Corresponding author:

Yhu-Chering Huang
Corresponding author. Division of Pediatric Infection Disease, Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, 5, Fu-Shing Street, Kwei-Shan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan. 


Background and purpose: 

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nosocomial pneumonia (NP) is associated with higher resource utilization, increased hospital stays, and mortality. We present a health economics model to understand the impact of using linezolid as the first-line treatment of MRSA NP in Taiwan 



We developed a cost-effectiveness model to estimate the costs and clinical outcomes of using linezolid 600 mg b.i.d. versus vancomycin 15 mg/kg b.i.d. as the first-line treatment of MRSA NP in Taiwan. The model is a decision-analytic analysis in which a MRSA-confirmed patient is simulated to utilize one of the treatments, using data from a clinical trial. Within each treatment arm, the patient can or cannot achieve clinical cure. Regardless of whether the clinical cure was achieved or not, the patient may or may not have experienced an adverse event. The per-protocol results for clinical cure were 57.6% and 46.6% for linezolid and vancomycin, respectively.



The total cost of linezolid was $376 more per patient than that of vancomycin. Drug costs were higher for linezolid than for vancomycin ($1108 vs. $233), and hospitalization costs were lower ($4998 vs. $5496). With higher cost and higher cure rates for linezolid, the incremental cost per cure was $3421.



This study projects linezolid to have higher drug costs, lower hospital costs, and higher overall costs compared with vancomycin. This is balanced against the higher clinical cure rate for linezolid. Depending on the willingness to pay for clinical cure, linezolid could be cost effective as the first-line treatment of NP in Taiwan. 


Key words:

health economics, linezolid, nosocomial pneumonia, vancomycin