The costs of Immunoglobulin treatment in hospital and in the home in Quebec
Yanick Labrie, M.Sc.
The use of Immunoglobulin (Ig) in Quebec and Canada has seen rapid growth in volume in recent years, with the associated expenses keeping pace. These treatments are generally administered at high cost by medical staff in a hospital setting. This report examines the improvements in cost and quality of service arising from administration of Ig treatments in the home as opposed to in a hospital setting, which is the current practice. It also evaluates the principal conclusions of the scientific literature on the effects of setting and method on Ig treatments, with a focus on the following variables: clinical effectiveness of treatment, quality of life and satisfaction of patients, and costs to the public healthcare system. Particular attention is devoted to the experiences of other countries, with an emphasis on European nations. Based on the evidence the study concludes that Canadian policy-makers should allow innovative private-sector community-based care enterprises to compete for the delivery of publicly funded healthcare services. Better resource allocation would reduce costs, shorten wait times and improve overall access to necessary medical care.