BACKGROUND: Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is an expensive biologic agent used to treat patients with mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) nonresponsive to conventional immunosuppressive therapy (CIST). The high cost of IVIG is of concern to healthcare providers and insurance companies. OBJECTIVE: To compare the cost of IVIG with that of CIST in treating a cohort of 15 patients with severe and extensive MMP. METHODS: Fifteen patients with biopsy-proven MMP nonresponsive to CIST were subsequently treated with IVIG and demonstrated a positive clinical response. This was a comparative, retrospective study; the mean total duration of the observation period was 8.4 years. A comparison of the cost of IVIG with that of CIST during the study period and the annual cost was performed. The cost of CIST was defined as the actual cost of the drug plus the cost of management of the multiple adverse effects, including hospitalizations, produced by CIST. In the same patient cohort, no significant adverse effects to IVIG were observed and no hospitalizations were required. Hence, the cost of IVIG therapy is simply the actual cost of the IVIG. RESULTS: In this cohort of patients, CIST had significant adverse effects, many of which were hazardous and required prolonged and frequent hospitalizations. The mean total cost using IVIG therapy was significantly less than that of CIST during the entire course of the disease (p <0.001) and on an annual basis (p <0.05). CONCLUSIONS: IVIG therapy is a safe, clinically beneficial, and less-expensive alternative treatment in patients with progressive MMP that is nonresponsive to CIST.
- Conventional immunosuppressive therapy, intravenous immunoglobulin therapy
- Cost comparison
- Mucous membrane pemphigoid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)