Vancomycin powder likely cost-effective as prophylaxis for s
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A breakeven analysis showed use of local vancomycin powder was cost-effective as prophylaxis against shoulder arthroplasty infection, according to study results presented at the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Annual Meeting.

“[This study] shows that the use of vancomycin powder placed intraoperatively at the end of a shoulder arthroplasty is a highly cost effective intervention to diminish the risk of infection,” Laurence D. Higgins, MD, MBA, chief of Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told Orthopedics Today.

To determine how effective vancomycin powder would need to be at reducing the baseline infection rate to make it cost-effective, Higgins and his colleagues developed a breakeven equation using an average cost of treating an infection across the stages of care in shoulder arthroplasty of $47,260, a cost of vancomycin powder of $17.15 per 1,000 mg vial and a literature-based baseline infection rate of 4%.

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