Long-term cost-effectiveness of clopidogrel given for up to one year in patients with acute coronary syndromes without ST-segment elevation
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OBJECTIVES: We sought to evaluate the long-term cost-effectiveness of clopidogrel for up to one year after an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) without ST-segment elevation. BACKGROUND: The efficacy of platelet inhibition with clopidogrel for up to one year after ACS was demonstrated in the Clopidogrel in Unstable angina to prevent Recurrent Events (CURE) trial, a randomized trial of 12,562 patients in 28 countries that was conducted between 1998 and 2000. Patients were given clopidogrel (300-mg load followed by 75 mg/day) versus placebo, both in addition to aspirin, for a mean of nine months. METHODS: We used patient-level clinical outcomes and resource use from the CURE trial and estimates of life expectancy gains as a result of the prevention of the clinical events of death, stroke, and myocardial infarction on the basis of data from external sources. RESULTS: Excluding clopidogrel costs, average costs of hospitalizations alone were 325 dollars less for the clopidogrel arm (95% confidence interval -722 dollars to 45 dollars) using diagnosis-related group-based Medicare reimbursement rates. When including clopidogrel costs (766 dollars greater for the clopidogrel arm), average total costs were 442 dollars higher for the clopidogrel arm (95% confidence interval 62 dollars to 820 dollars). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) on the basis of the Framingham Heart Study was 6,318 dollars per life-year gained (LYG) with clopidogrel, with 94% of bootstrap-derived ICER estimates <50,000 dollars/LYG; based on Saskatchewan, the ICER was 6,475 dollars/LYG with 98% of estimates <50,000 dollars. CONCLUSIONS: Platelet inhibition with clopidogrel in patients for up to one year after presentation with an acute coronary syndrome is both effective and cost-effective.
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