To the Editor.—
The recent report by Poretz et al (1982;248:336) on outpatient intravenous antibiotic therapy supports work done at The Ohio State University Hospitals beginning in 1975 and reported in 19771 and 1978.2 In that program, hospital pharmacists, on written order from a physician, trained patients to self-administer injectable medications. Five types of therapy were involved: cytarabine, antihemophilic factor, calcitonin, parenteral nutrition, and analgesics. For the first 25 patients between Sept 1, 1975, and Aug 23, 1976, a net annual savings of $4,546 per patient was realized. The annual savings was $11,910 per patient for the next 35 patients (Sept 1, 1976, through Aug 31, 1978). Ohio State's charges for the training program were reimbursed by third-party payers.
Zellmer WA. Outpatient Parenteral Therapy. JAMA. 1982;248(19):2450. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330190020015