Savings from the use of probiotics in the prophylaxis of antibiotic-associated diarrhea

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Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) and Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) are the most common causes of healthcare-associated infectious diarrhea. Results from a double-blind, dose-response, placebo-controlled trial of the probiotic formula, Bio-K+ (i.e., containing Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285 and Lactobacillus casei LBC80R) published in 2010 revealed that the incidence of AAD and CDAD were lower for patients assigned to the probiotic formula compared to placebo. This study aimed to estimate the savings in direct medical costs that might result from the use of two different doses of the probiotic formula versus placebo. Economic analyses showed that the use of the probiotic formula would result in estimated mean per patient savings of US$1968 and US$2661 for the single and double dose, respectively, compared with placebo if used an average of 13 days by all patients at risk of developing AAD and CDAD. Using this product in the prophylaxis of AAD and CDAD could lead to estimated savings in direct medical costs that would substantially offset its acquisition cost. Treating 1000 hospitalized patients on antibiotics with the double dose of this product compared to current practice would save a single payer system over $2.5M. J Med Econ. 2012;15(1):53-60. PMID: 22023067

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