Program savings associated with switching testosterone intramuscular injections to topical gel in HIV infected males

Patrick G. Clay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: HIV-1 infected male patients commonly require testosterone supplementation and intramuscular testosterone (IM) is the most frequently used supplementation method. Currently, the economic burden of testosterone supplementation is borne to a large degree by the clinic providing services to the HIV infected male. Increasingly, clinics are seeking alternative methods to provide supplementation. This analysis describes the economic trade-offs associated with the utilization of topically applied testosterone supplement relative to current supplementation techniques within the clinic setting. Methods: Twenty-three patients that had been receiving IM were switched to topical testosterone gel (TOP). A 1-month time-and-motion study, identification of IM administration specific supplies, and costs for acquisition and disposal of these supplies were conducted or gathered to quantify costs of providing bi-weekly IM to patients. The analysis describes potential resource savings by switching 23 HIV patients served in a safety-net provider setting from IM to TOP. The analysis considers both a pre and post-evaluation period whereby patients received IM in the pre-evaluation period and then were switched to TOP in the follow-up period. Economic assessments considered direct medical costs for the preparation and administration of the product but did not incorporate other outcomes in the analyses. Results: Only one of 23 patients switched experienced recurrence of symptoms and no patients developed adverse effects associated with the switch. In contrast, substantial resources could be realized with the utilization of the topically applied testosterone relative to the injectable formulations with approximately $80,938 fewer dollars spent on provision of IM. Conclusions: Switching patients from IM to TOP resulted in no deleterious affects and is estimated to have saved the clinic considerable resources, even if TOP had to be provided by the clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-468
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Medical Research and Opinion
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Economics
  • HIV
  • Outcomes
  • Savings
  • Testosterone


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