<p>Abstract</p> <p>Invasive fungal infections are on the rise. Echinocandins are a relatively new class of antifungal drugs that act by inhibition of a key enzyme necessary for integrity of the fungal cell wall. Currently there are three available agents: caspofungin, micafungin and anidulafungin.</p> <p>While the individual echinocandin antifungals have a different spectrum of licensed indications, basically all of them are available for the treatment of candidemia and invasive candidiasis. Antifungal treatment modalities basically include in therapy for suspected or proven infection and prophylaxis. All three drugs are comparatively expensive. Therefore a systematic review of the literature was performed to investigate the following aspects:</p> <p indent="1">• General aspects of cost-effectiveness in the treatment of invasive fungal infections</p> <p indent="1">• Cost-effectiveness of the treatment with the above-mentioned antifungals</p> <p indent="1">• Cost-effectiveness in two settings: therapy and prophylaxis</p> <p>Early initiation of antifungal therapy, adjustment after availability of microbiological results, duration of therapy, success and occurrence of severe complications (e.g renal failure) are the most important cost drivers in antifungal therapy.</p> <p>Considering the specific antifungals, for caspofungin the best evidence for cost-effectiveness is found in treatment of invasive candidiasis and in empiric therapy of suspected infections. Favourable economic data are available for micafungin as a cost-effective alternative to LAmB for prophylaxis in patients with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). For anidulafungin, cost-effectiveness was demostrated in a pharmacoeconomic model. Net savings - yet not significant - were observed in a retrospective chart review of 234 patients. Generally, however, most analyses are still based on pharmacoeconomic modelling rather than direct analysis of trial data or real-life clinical populations.</p> <p>As an overall conclusion, using caspofungin, micafungin, or anidulafungin is not more expensive than using other established therapies. Micafungin has proven to be cost-effective in prophylaxis if the local fungal epidemiology indicates a high level of resistance to fluconazole. Switch strategies involving early initiation of broadly active therapy with switch to cheaper alternatives according to microbiology results and clinical status and early initiation of an appropriate therapy have been proven to be cost-efficient independent of the antifungal agent.</p
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