Alvimopan for prevention of postoperative paralytic ileus in radical cystectomy patients: a cost-effectiveness analysis



What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

  • No cost-effectiveness studies exist in patients after radical cystectomy for the routine use of alvimopan for the prevention of postoperative ileus.
  • The present study provides a reasonable estimate of the cost-effectiveness of alvimopan for the prevention of postoperative ileus in the patient after radical cystectomy.


  • To determine if the cost of administering alvimopan, to help restore bowel function after abdominal surgery, to all patients undergoing radical cystectomy (RC) is cost prohibitive.

Patients and Methods

  • A cost-effective analysis was conducted from a healthcare payer perspective using a decision-tree model that incorporated direct healthcare costs and probabilities associated with the possible events and outcomes.
  • Sensitivity analyses were conducted on the influence of the cost and effectiveness of the drug, the probability of POI in RC patients, and the extended length of stay (LOS) as a result of POI.
  • Precision in estimates was determined using probabilistic sensitivity analyses with 5000 Monte-Carlo simulations.


  • Under the base case assumption, the additional cost of a patient's LOS related to POI was $10 246 per person. Under the assumption that 15.6% of patients will have POI, the mean cost associated with POI in a cohort of patients not treated with alvimopan was $1597 (90% confidence interval [CI] $1335–1875) per patient.
  • Conversely, the routine use of alvimopan for all patients undergoing RC was associated with a mean POI-associated cost of $1495(90% CI $1312–1696) per person, which represents the cost of alvimopan ($700 per hospitalisation) and a 50% reduction in the rate of POI.
  • Sensitivity analyses revealed that there is a cost savings with the routine use of alvimopan under the following conditions: the POI results in extending LOS by ≥3.5 days, POI occurs in ≥14% of patients undergoing RC, or the drug results in a relative risk reduction of ≥44%.


  • Routine use of perioperative alvimopan may not be cost prohibitive because of its influence on POI rate and associated costs.
  • The cost-effectiveness of alvimopan is influenced by the POI incidence and the degree to which the drug can decrease the LOS.