Low-molecular-weight heparin, bemiparin, in the outpatient treatment and secondary prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism in standard clinical practice: the ESFERA Study

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The objective of this study is to assess the clinical and economic outcomes associated with outpatient treatment and secondary prophylaxis of acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) with a low-molecular-weight heparin, bemiparin.

This study was designed as an open-label, multicentre, prospective, cohort study in standard clinical practice.

Sixty-three investigators from 54 Spanish centres participated in the study.

Five hundred eighty-three patients (434 outpatients and 149 inpatients) with acute VTE were followed up for 98 days (median).

Outcome measures were costs and adverse events during initial VTE treatment with bemiparin (outpatient vs. inpatient cohorts) and long-term treatment [bemiparin (BEM) vs. vitamin K antagonists (VKA) cohorts].

Mean total costs per patient were lower in the outpatient cohort as compared with those in the inpatient cohort (1206 vs. €5191; difference = –€3985; p < 0.001), with similar rates of adverse events (5.1 outpatient vs. 7.4% inpatient; p = 0.196) over 98 days. Mean total costs per patient were similar in the BEM/BEM and BEM/VKA cohorts (3616 vs. €3831; difference = –€215; p = 0.412), but patients on long-term bemiparin treatment had lower rates of major bleeding (0.4 vs. 1.7%; p = 0.047), minor bleeding (1.8 vs. 6%; p = 0.032) and total adverse events (2.9 vs. 9.5%; p = 0.007) than patients in the BEM/VKA cohort.

Outpatient management of VTE with bemiparin in selected patients resulted in significant cost-savings compared to inpatient treatment, while maintaining effectiveness and safety. Bemiparin may be a safer and cost-neutral alternative to VKA for long-term treatment of VTE.

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