Author(s): Kinky DE, Erush SC, Laskin MS, Gibson GA
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: A cost-avoidance model was developed to determine potential cost savings or "avoidance" that results from a drug information service (DIS) responding to drug information requests. DESIGN: Patient-specific questions received by the DIS were reviewed and evaluated. A panel determined whether a drug misadventure event may have occurred if the DIS had not been consulted. Potential outcomes from drug information requests were classified using a decision-tree model. A severity rating was then attached to each applicable request to predict potential cost savings of the DIS. RESULTS: Seventy-seven of the 570 drug information responses received in the six-week study period had assessable potential cost savings to the institution. During the study interval, potential cost savings were estimated to be $195,000. Projected to one year, potential cost savings reached $1.7 million. Of the savings noted, most were attributable to prevention of increased monitoring or additional treatment. Using a sensitivity analysis, annual potential cost savings ranged from $417,792 to $2,052,740 per year. Based on the estimated annual costs related to maintaining a DIS of $145,950, the resultant range of benefit/cost ratio is 2.9:1 to 13.2:1. CONCLUSIONS: This model demonstrates that the DIS at our institution provides potential cost savings. This model may be modified to evaluate potential cost savings in other areas of pharmacy practice.
This article was published in Ann Pharmacother
and referenced in Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems