Older AML Patients Experience High Cost Burdens


Elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) faced high health care costs in their first year following diagnosis, according to research presented at the 59th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 9-12, 2017; Atlanta, GA).

Although costs decreased in the second year of treatment, the overall burden remained high.

No prior research has focused on costs of care for patients with AML aged older than 60 years. Jill A Bell, PhD, Millennium Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, MA), and colleagues retrospectively reviewed data from 237 newly diagnosed patients (mean age, 73.1 years; 60% men) treated with chemotherapy or stem cell transplant following diagnosis.

The mean total per-patient-per-month (PPPM) costs during the study period were $25,243, with higher costs seen in the first year after diagnosis ($27,756) than in the second year ($12,953).

The majority of costs were related to AML treatment (chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and supportive care). In Year 1, medical costs PPPM were $24,512, of which 64% were treatment-related. In Year 2, medical costs PPPM decreased to $12,309; 39% were treatment-related.

In the first month following diagnosis, the average costs were $81,828, 74% of which were directly related to treatment. Costs decreased to $25,652 in the second month after diagnosis; the mean costs over the ensuing 10 months was $14,725.


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Inpatient costs decreased between Year 1 and Year 2. Other factors associated with cost decreases included chemotherapy-associated costs, supportive care treatments, and a reduction in outpatient services.

“Further research is needed to understand factors contributing to the high costs in various settings of care in elderly AML patients,” researchers concluded.Cameron Kelsall