An economic and quality-of-life assessment of basiliximab vs antithymocyte globulin immunoprophylaxis in renal transplantation

Daniel Polsky, Kevin P. Weinfurt, Bruce Kaplan, Jennifer Kim, John Fastenau, Kevin A. Schulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background. Immunosuppressive therapy with cyclosporin A has substantially improved clinical outcomes for renal transplantation. Whether basiliximab (a chimeric monoclonal antibody) demonstrates economic and quality-of-life advantages over other induction therapies has not yet been shown. Methods. A multi-centre open-label clinical trial was conducted among renal transplant recipients in the US, in which patients were randomized into two induction therapy regimens: basiliximab and antithymocyte globulin (ATG) as part of a quadruple immunosuppressive regimen. Medical resources used and a EuroQol visual analogue scale (VAS) rating of quality of life were collected prospectively for the 135 dosed subjects for a period of 1 year post-treatment. We analysed the differences between treatment groups in 1-year costs and 1-year quality-adjusted survival. We also conducted a post hoc analysis of outcomes among the subgroup of patients identified as high risk. Results. A significant difference was observed in first-year post-treatment costs (basiliximab, $45 857; ATG, $54 729; difference, $8 872 (95% CI, $1169 to $16573). The savings from basiliximab can be attributed to the less expensive induction therapy (basiliximab, $2378; ATG, $8670; difference, $6292 (95% CI, $5165 to $7419) and other savings during the initial hospitalization totalling $2609. One-year quality-adjusted survival was the same in both groups (basiliximab, 81.5; ATG, 81.1; difference, 0.45 (95% CI, -5.9 to 6.8). The results of the post hoc analysis of the 48 high-risk patients were comparable to the analysis of all patients. Conclusions. These results demonstrate lower first-year post-treatment costs in renal-transplant recipients receiving basiliximab compared to ATG with no differences in quality-adjusted survival. The results also suggest similar differences among high-risk subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1028-1033
Number of pages6
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost and cost analysis
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Immunoprophylaxis
  • Immunosuppressive agents
  • Kidney transplant
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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