A Cost Minimization Analysis of Ready-to-Administer Prefilled Sterilized Syringes in a Dutch Hospital

K. H. M. Larmene-Beld*, J. Touwen-Spronk, J. Luttjeboer, K. Taxis, M. J. Postma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: Preparation errors occur frequently during conventional preparation of parenteral medication in the clinical environment, causing patient harm and costs for the national health care system. The use of ready-to-administer prefilled sterilized syringes (PFSSs) produced by the hospital pharmacy can reduce preparation errors and the risk of bacteremia from contamination of the intravenous medication. The aim of this research is to compare the total costs of the conventional preparation method (CPM) with the PFSS method.

Methods: In this cost-minimization analysis, costs related to the preparation of the medication, bacteremia from contamination, adverse drug events as a result of preparation medication errors, and wastage of syringes were taken into account. Annual costs in a general Dutch hospital were consistently calculated. Three scenarios were analyzed: (1) all preparations as CPM (864,246 administrations per year), (2) all preparations as PFSSs, and (3) 50% as PFSSs and 50% as CPM. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.

Findings: The first scenario found higher annual costs at (sic) 4.0 million (US$16.0 million) compared with the second scenario ( (sic) 4.1 million, US$4.7 million). The most realistic situation (third scenario) found savings of 4.9 million (US$5.6 million) compared with the first scenario. Sensitivity analyses revealed that cost savings of PFSSs were strongly influenced by decreased risk of medication errors and contamination of intravenous medication. Extrapolating these results nationwide indicated potential savings of > (sic)300 million (US$342 million) if only PFSSs were used. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1139-1150
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number6
Early online date10-May-2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2019


  • cost minimization analysis
  • hospital
  • preparation
  • ready to administer
  • syringe
  • CARE
  • RISK

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