Background — The use of prasugrel or ticagrelor as part of dual antiplatelet therapy with acetylsalicylic acid after acute coronary syndrome (ACS) improves clinical outcomes relative to clopidogrel. The relative cost-effectiveness of these agents are unknown. We conducted an economic analysis evaluating 12 months of treatment with clopidogrel, prasugrel or ticagrelor after ACS.
Methods — We developed a fully probabilistic Markov cohort decision-analytic model using a lifetime horizon, from the perspective of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The model incorporated risks of death, recurrent ACS, heart failure, major bleeding and other adverse effects of treatment. Data on probabilities and utilities were obtained from the published literature where available. The primary outcome was quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).
Results — Treatment with clopidogrel was associated with the lowest effectiveness (7.41 QALYs, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05-14.79) and the lowest cost ($39 601, 95% CI $8434-$111 186). Ticagrelor treatment had an effectiveness of 7.50 QALYs (95% CI 1.13-14.84) at a cost of $40 649 (95% CI $9327-$111 881). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) for ticagrelor relative to clopidogrel was $12 205 per QALY gained. Prasugrel had an ICER of $57 630 per QALY gained relative to clopidogrel. Ticagrelor was the preferred option in 90% of simulations at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50 000 per QALY gained.
Interpretation — Ticagrelor was the most cost-effective agent when used as part of dual antiplatelet therapy after ACS. This conclusion was robust to wide variations in model parameters.
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