A new approach

What is the clinical need?

 

Overprescribing and misdiagnosis

  • Most fungal infections are diagnosed by the clinician identifying a set of symptoms

  • Candida infections are often misdiagnosed as bacterial. Similarly, fungal lung infections are often misdiagnosed as TB, in part due to clinicians not trusting tests. This is leading to patients being prescribed the inappropriate treatment18

  • One study reported the unnecessary usage of antifungal medicationsin 16% of cases, the wrong choice of treatment in about one-third of cases and suboptimal treatment in about a half of patients19

  • Without a standardised test, clinicians are potentially missing out on giving antifungal medicine to patients who need it


 

Traditional diagnostic tests

  • Traditional clinical diagnostic tests can be slow, costly and impractical due to the specialised equipment required to carry out tests16

Cost of care

  • Evidence shows that patients with a fungal infection will cost £50K more per case, compared to someone with a similar underlying disease, but no fungal infection20

  • Drug-resistant infections are a large drain on hospital resources21

  • Cost is often thought of as a barrier to using rapid diagnostics, due to upfront costs. This is short-sighted as rapid diagnostics can reduce costs in the long term due to a reduced incidence of adverse events, decreased use of antifungal treatments and resistance to antifungal treatments18
 

The lack of a standardised diagnostic approach is leading to empirical or prolonged treatment without a confirmed diagnosis22, increasing harmful resistance to antifungal treatments

 

A novel diagnostic-led strategy
How to treat fungal infections

 

The solution to limiting the spread of antifungal resistance?

  • A new rapid diagnostic-led approach will lead to more accurate and timely treatments,23 therefore reducing the spread of resistance, whilst preserving existing medications16,18

This will mean:

  • Infection can be better managed

  • Unnecessary drug prescribing can be avoided

  • Reduced burden on nursing time
    e.g. drug administration and patient monitoring

  • Enhanced patient recovery –
    by applying the right treatment drug at the right dose, at the right time, for the right duration11and patient monitoring16

  • Earlier diagnosis and targeted treatment may also reduce cost burdens, whilst improving patient outcomes24

The solution to reducing costs?

A rapid diagnostic-led approach remains less costly and more effective in preventing death24

  • In one study, total costs were 32% lower for a diagnostic-led strategy versus an empirical approach due to a reduced incidence of adverse events and decreased use of antifungal treatments24

  • It was estimated 41% fewer patients could be treated with antifungal treatments18

Baseline results of costs and outcomes of diagnostic-led and empirical strategies24

References

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