Resource Use and Costs of Treatment With Anticoagulation and Antiplatelet Agents: Results of the WATCH Trial Economic Evaluation
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BACKGROUND: The Warfarin and Antiplatelet Therapy in Chronic Heart Failure (WATCH) trial revealed no significant differences among 1587 symptomatic heart failure patients randomized to warfarin, clopidogrel, or aspirin in time to all-cause death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke. We compared within-trial medical resource use and costs between treatments. METHODS AND RESULTS: We assigned country-specific costs to medical resources incurred during follow-up. Annualized rates of hospitalizations, inpatient and outpatient procedures, and emergency department visits did not differ significantly between groups. Annualized total costs averaged $5901 (95% confidence interval [CI], $4776-$7520) for the aspirin group, $5646 (95% CI, $4903-$6584) for the clopidogrel group, and $5830 (95% CI, $4838-$7400) for the warfarin group. CONCLUSIONS: Consistent with clinical findings, our analyses did not identify significant cost differences between treatments.
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