Coronary Heart Disease: Simvastatin is cost effective in men and women at high risk of coronary events
Purchasing Bottom Line
Simvastatin is cost effective in men and women at high risk of cardiac events compared with other treatments for common conditions.
Johannesson M, JÃ¶nsson B, Kjekshus J, Olsson AG et al. Cost effectiveness of simvastatin treatment to lower cholesterol levels in patients with coronary heart disease. New England Journal of Medicine. 1997;336:332-336.
How much does simvastatin cost per year of life gained?
MEDLINE search using cost effectiveness, simvastatin, coronary heart disease
A cost effectiveness analysis, based upon the effectiveness data from the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival (4S) Study, using a Markov* incremental cost model to assess the costs per year of life gained using simvastatin in people at high risk of cardiac events (men and women 35 to 70 years with total cholesterol levels of 213 to 309 mg/dl with a history of angina pectoris or acute myocardial infarction). Direct and indirect costs were calculated from Swedish data at the 1995 exchange rate with the $US. A 5% discount rate was used to calculate costs of future years of life gained. Sensitivity analysis was conducted taking into account differences in risk reduction of cardiac event; risk of mortality after event; inclusion of health costs in gained years; morbidity associated costs; intervention costs with follow up, screening, and US drug prices, and discount rates of 0%, 5%, and 10% per year.
* Markov model: A model of a sequence of events, in which the probability of an event occurring in the future depends upon a the occurrence of a (specified) preceding event.
|Total cholesterol before treatment (mg/dl)||Age 35||Age 59||Age 70|
|Analysis of direct costs ($US)|
|Analysis of direct and indirect costs|
- The main results (tabled above) do not take into account costs of extra years gained from patients not dying, nor quality of life effects, so they do not compare the cost effectiveness of simvastatin versus no or alternative treatment.
- Decision makers in other countries would need to consider their own costs compared to those outlined in this study (outlined in Table 2).
- The results apply only to people at high risk of cardiac events, not the general population. The lower cost effectiveness in women is due predominantly to their lower risk of events than men from 35 years.
Anna Donald and Sam Vincent March 1999.