Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research vol:9 issue:4 pages:375-386
Primary immunodeficiency disorders are associated with increased patient susceptibility to recurrent infections. Since the 1950s, intramuscular, intravenous and subcutaneous immunoglobulin products have been used to replace functionally deficient or absent immunoglobulins, reduce the incidence of infections and prevent organ damage caused by infections. This article aims to review the use of immunoglobulin therapy in primary immunodeficiency by focusing on costs, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, supply and off-label use. To date, the economic burden of primary immunodeficiency is unknown. Past studies have supported minimal differences in effectiveness between intravenous and subcutaneous immunoglobulins. Subcutaneous therapy may be considered for patients who prefer treatment at home. The small number of economic evaluations and their methodological limitations precludes the recommendation of a specific product for use in primary immunodeficiency on pharmacoeconomic grounds. Demand for immunoglobulins has increased over time, leading to periodic shortages and emphasizing the importance of its appropriate use.