The UK’s healthcare costs regulator is recommending Terumo BCT’s Spectra Optia Apheresis System for blood transfusion in managing sickle cell disease, saying the device may lead to fewer treatments that last for shorter periods of time.
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the device is likely to save the NHS roughly $18 million each year, or $25,000 per patient, as its use costs less than manual red blood cell exchange or top-up transfusion. The amount of savings depends on a patient’s iron overload status and need for chelation therapy.
The device works by quickly replacing sickle red blood cells with healthy ones, and patients may need fewer treatments versus existing options, NICE says in guidance issued last week.
Despite the positive recommendation, NICE says there is a need for clinical data collection on the outcomes of treatment with Spectra Optia. Specifically, the body would like to see long-term data on how automated and manual exchange affects iron overload status and the need for chelation therapy.