Washington: Routinely giving anti-vomiting drugs to children with gastroenteritis could prevent thousands of hospitalisations and save millions of dollars each year, a economic analysis has claimed. Two years ago, a University of North Carolina (UNC) study had found that an anti-vomiting drug called ondansetron helps reduce vomiting, the need for intravenous fluids and hospital admissions in children with acute gastroenteritis.
They concluded that giving ondansetron to eligible children in the US would prevent 29,246 intravenous insertions and 7,220 hospitalisations each year, with annual savings of USD 65.6 million to society and USD 61.1 million to payers of health care costs (including private insurance providers and Medicare). In Canada, the study concluded that routine administration of ondansetron given routinely would prevent 4,065 intravenous insertions and 1,003 hospitalisations each year, with annual savings of 1.72 million Canadian dollars to society and 1.18 million Canadian dollars to payers of health care costs. "In the past, people always thought that ondansetron was so expensive that its use `wasn`t worth it`," said Michael J Steiner, a UNC professor and co-author of the study. "Our findings challenge that belief and may change clinician decision-making as well as practice guidelines." PTI
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