Comparing costs of intramuscular and oral vitamin B<inf>12</inf>administration in primary care: A cost-minimization analysis
Objective: To establish whether savings could be made by changing patients from intramuscular to high doses of oral vitamin B12in primary care without compromising their wellbeing. Methods: Cost-minimization analysis from a UK perspective, using secondary data obtained from the literature available and expert opinion. Results: The cost of the resources used to treat patients with vitamin B12deficiency with intramuscular vitamin B12was calculated as between £55.99 (€83.1) and £99.99 (€148.5) per year. The cost of treating patients with high doses of oral vitamin B12during the first year was between £125.55 (€186.5) and £248.55 (€369.1). However, once patients receiving intramuscular treatment had been converted to oral treatment, or in new patients treated orally from the outset, the cost was £35.55 per year (€52.8). One variable, home visits, had a high impact on the calculations. Conclusion: Switching patients with vitamin B12deficiency from intramuscular to high-dose oral therapy and treating patients newly diagnosed with vitamin B12deficiency with oral vitamin B12from the outset could save resources in the medium and long term, and in newly diagnosed patients. Savings would come particularly in the form of nursing time.