Assessing the transition from intravenous to subcutaneous delivery of rituximab: Benefits for payers, health care professionals, and patients with lymphoma

PLOS One, 2022

Subcutaneous (SC) administration of rituximab provides an opportunity for reduced patient treatment burden and increased healthcare efficiencies as an alternative to intravenous (IV) rituximab. There is minimal evidence comparing costs associated with SC and IV rituximab in a US setting. This research assessed the impact of transitioning patients from IV to SC rituximab for treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) from the US payer, provider, and patient perspective. We developed a model to estimate cost differences for transitioning 20% of a patient cohort from IV to SC rituximab. We included patients with incident diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, incident and recurrent follicular lymphoma, and incident and recurrent chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In the model, each patient received the same number of doses and that there was no difference in discontinuation between cohorts due to non-inferior efficacy and a similar safety profile. Model inputs were collected from published literature and publicly available data. Scenario analyses tested the impact of availability of low-cost biosimilars. In the base case (1,000,000 covered lives), we estimated a total of 157 patients, with 769 total drug administrations. A transition of 20% of patients from IV to SC was projected to generate $153,000 in payer savings, increase provider capacity by 270 hours, and free 470 hours of patient time. Scenario analyses suggest SC administration will be cost saving for payers even with a market where biosimilars approach 50% market share. A 20% transition to SC rituximab in a single cohort of patients has the potential to generate significant US health system value in the form of payer savings, increased practice capacity, and patient time.

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Harvey MJ, Zhong Y, Morris E, Beverage JN, Epstein RS, Chawla AJ