Cost-Effectiveness of Optimizing Use of Statins in Australia: Using Outpatient Data From the REACH Registry
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Background: Although few cardiovascular registries report the costs of illness or cost-effectiveness of health interventions, such information is critical to inform the effective and cost-effective management of cardiovascular disease, particularly if drawn from population-based registries, which more accurately reflect clinical practice and follow up patients for much longer than clinical trials. Objective: The goal of this study was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of closing the statin "treatment gap" in the secondary prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD) in Australia. Methods: A decision analysis Markov model was developed with yearly cycles and the health states of alive or dead. Using data from the Australian Reduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health Registry, the model compared current statin coverage (82%) in the secondary prevention of CAD (the current group) with a hypothetical situation of 100% coverage (the improved group). The 18% gap was filled with use of generic statins. Data from a recent meta-analysis were used to estimate the benefits of statin use in terms of reducing recurrent cardiovascular events and death. Government reimbursement data from 2011 were used to calculate direct health care costs. The cost of the intervention to improve statin coverage was assumed to be $250 per person.Years of life lived and costs were discounted at 5% annually. All values are given in Australian dollars. Results: Among the 2058 subjects in the current group, the model estimated that there would be 106 nonfatal myocardial infractions, 68 nonfatal strokes, and 275 deaths over 5 years. In the improved group, all of whom took statins, the corresponding numbers were 101, 65, and 259, equating to numbers needed to treat of 426, 639, and 127, respectively. Over the 5 years, there would be 0.018 life-years gained (discounted) at a net cost of $546 (discounted) per person. These equated to an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $29,717 per life-year gained. Conclusion: The results suggest that for patients with CAD, maximizing coverage with statins, in line with evidence-based recommendations, represents a cost-effective means of secondary prevention.
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