BASEL, Switzerland, November 20 /PRNewswire/ --

- Authors Conclude Such Savings may Allow Healthcare Resources to be Reallocated to Other Aspects of Patient Management

Switching dialysis patients to once-monthly Mircera(R) from older, more frequently dosed erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs) could reduce time spent by nurses administering anaemia drugs in dialysis clinics by approximately 80%. This is valuable time that could be used by staff to focus on other important aspects of patient care. These and other key findings from a study investigating the practicalities of ESA use have just been published in Blood Purification(1). ( )

The prospective, observational study quantified personnel time in 12 dialysis clinics in Germany and the UK in 2006. It found the total potential annual time savings for a dialysis centre switching 100 patients to Mircera could range from 43 to 37 working days per year.

The study also found that patients currently receive 94 ESA injections per year in Germany and 83 in the UK and by switching to Mircera, 82 or 71 injections per patient per year could be avoided in the average dialysis centre in Germany and the UK respectively.

The rising prevalence of end-stage renal disease is placing increasing demand on renal healthcare services and this is compounded by a shortfall in the number of renal healthcare personnel, said lead author Dr. Ulrich Saueressig, Gemeinschaftspraxis, Wuppertal, Germany. Therefore hospitals, clinics and dialysis units are under increasing pressure to improve efficiency without compromising the quality of care experienced by patients. We found that the treatment of anaemia in patients with CKD has a considerable impact on workload, and switching to Mircera has the potential to save significant amounts of time. (Link to Dr Saueressig's centre:

Key findings

- Time spent on anaemia management: For a centre of 100 patients, the average time spent per year on frequent observable activities (including preparation, distribution, injection, and ordering of ESAs) is substantial: 31 days in Germany and 42 days in the UK. Total time per centre per year (basis 100 patients) for all ESA-related activities (observed and non-observed) using the current short-acting ESAs was estimated to represent up to 79 and 95 days in Germany and the UK, respectively.

- Anaemia management costs: The estimated total time spent on ESA-related activities per centre (100 patients) per year would represent EUR17,031 and GBP18,739 for a German and UK centre, respectively.

- Anaemia treatment: The average number of ESA administrations per patient per month was 7.8 and 6.9 in Germany and the UK respectively.

- Modeling the impact of Mircera: With the adoption of once-monthly Mircera, it was calculated that nurses' time for 'observed' activities alone could be reduced by approximately 80%, saving 24-35 working days per year for a centre of 100 patients. When non-observed activities are considered as well, once-monthly Mircera offers potential annual time savings of 43 days in an average German and 37 days in an average UK centre. Translated into monetary units, the difference in total time between once-monthly Mircera and traditional ESA use would represent EUR9,798 for Germany and GBP6,615 for the UK, representing a 58% and 35% cost reduction, respectively.

- Authors' conclusions: Such savings may allow healthcare resources to be reallocated to other aspects of patient management, thereby enhancing the overall quality of dialysis care, and potentially enabling improvements in clinical outcomes.

The study

The study was conducted in 12 dialysis centers across Germany and the UK (six centers per country). Interviews were conducted with relevant healthcare staff at each study center to map nurses' time spent on anaemia management-related tasks and processes. Tasks were classified as either observable or non-observable. Observed tasks were defined as ESA-related activities that happen frequently, and with a clear start and endpoint for which time could be directly measured. This included preparation, distribution of ESAs, injection, and drug ordering. Non-observed tasks were less frequently performed tasks for which ESA-related time was intertwined with other activities and thus could not be separated, such as physician visits, blood sampling and review of blood analysis results. Using results from both observable and non-observable tasks, the potential time and associated cost offsets that might be achieved with 100% uptake of once-monthly Mircera were modeled.

About Mircera

Mircera, the first continuous erythropoietin receptor activator indicated for the treatment of symptomatic anaemia in chronic kidney disease, is now approved in 68 countries and launched in 49 including the major EU markets Germany, the UK, Spain and France. It has a different receptor interaction and longer half-life than other ESAs which allows for sustained and predictable anaemia management (2),(3),(4). Mircera's method of administration is simple: it is the only ESA approved in the EU to correct anaemia with an immediate once-every-two-week treatment schedule in all CKD patient types (those on or not on dialysis) with either an IV or SC dose. CKD patients on dialysis or not, on any ESA, can then be directly switched to a once-monthly maintenance schedule. This ability to switch patients directly has the potential to simplify anaemia management(5).

About Roche:

Information about the Roche Group is available on the Internet at

Editor's Notes

- All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

- Additional information about renal anaemia is available on the Internet at

- Broadcast quality images are available for media at



(1) Saueressig U et al. Healthcare Resource Utilization for Anemia Management: Current Practice With Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents and the Impact of Converting to Once-Monthly C.E.R.A.. Blood Purif. 2008;26:537-546.

(2) MIRCERA® Summary of Product Characteristics. F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, 2007

(3) Sulowicz W, Locatelli F, Ryckelynck J-P, et al. Once-monthly subcutaneous C.E.R.A. maintains stable hemoglobin control in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis and converted directly from epoetin one to three times weekly. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2007;2:637-646

(4) Jarsch M, Brandt M, Haselbeck A. Consumption of C.E.R.A. and epoetin beta in a cellular assay: UT-7 consumption model. Presented at American Society of Hematology (ASH) 48th Meeting, December 9-12, 2006, Orlando, FL

(5) Macdougall I, et al. C.E.R.A. Corrects Anemia in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease not on Dialysis: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial. CJASN, 2008; 3 (2) 337-347

For further information please contact: Sheila Kolesaire at Roche Tel: +973-235-4347 Mobile: +973-687-0188 Diane Lorton at Galliard Tel: +44-(0)-207-663-2265 Mobile: +44-(0)-7717-531-823

For further information please contact: Sheila Kolesaire at Roche, Tel: +973-235-4347, Mobile: +973-687-0188; Diane Lorton at Galliard, Tel: +44-(0)-207-663-2265, Mobile: +44(0-7717-531-823