There may be a cost savings for hospitals using Surfaxin (lucinactant), due to the reduced rate of reintubation among preterm infants who are treated with the drug, according to manufacturer Discovery Labs. The savings would come from fewer reintubation-related diagnoses of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), air leak, sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), or intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), including savings of up to $562,000 per 100 patients diagnosed with BPD.

“Lower reintubation rates such as those observed with Surfaxin therapy may significantly lower in-hospital costs for the treatment of reintubated infants,” said Fernando R Moya, MD, SELECT Trial principle investigator and director of neonatology at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington, NC.

“A substantial proportion of infants with RDS, especially those under 1,000 grams, need to be reintubated. The occurrence of major morbidities associated with reintubation in preterm children may potentially have a profound impact on healthcare resource utilization in the neonatal population.”

The series of pharmacoeconomic analyses is based on the observations reported in the first-ever, full description of the consequences of reintubation in preterm neonates published in the Journal of Neonatal- Perinatal Medicine (Volume 4, Number 2, 2011).

The study concluded that there appeared to be “differences in reintubation rates and survival without reintubation between surfactant preparations, with no differences in other complications of prematurity.”