At UEGW in Barcelona in October 2017 Dr. Elsafi and colleagues published a poster entitled “Cost effectiveness of IBDoc as a surrogate marker of mucosal healing in IBD patients post induction of biological agents”
This poster described their study of IBD patients who had recently commenced anti-TNFα drug therapy.
Traditionally patients starting biologics have a follow up appointment in the clinic after 3 months and a routine colonoscopy at 6 months, to assess mucosal healing.
131 patients were provided with the BÜHLMANN IBDoc® assay, enabling them to test their own calprotectin levels at home at the 3 and 6 months post induction of biological agents. This avoided the need to attend hospital appointments to obtain a calprotectin result. Results from the IBDoc tests were transferred to the gastroenterology team’s database.
At the 3 month assessments the IBDoc results showed that 40% of the patients had normal calprotectin levels. After 6 months 75% of the patients showed normal calprotectin levels.
Of the 78 patients that had a raised IBDoc calprotectin at 3 months, 28% of these had a normal reading after 6 months.
Overall, using the IBDoc calprotectin results as indicators of mucosal healing, a total of 53 clinic visits and 62 colonoscopies were not required because the calprotectin results were within normal limits.
This represents a significant cost saving plus the benefits of better managed healthcare resources, reducing demand and therefore the waiting times for both clinic visits and colonoscopies.