Cost-Effectiveness of Dabigatran Compared With Warfarin for Stroke Prevention in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation and Prior Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—

The cost-effectiveness of dabigatran for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation and prior stroke or transient ischemic attack has not been directly assessed.

Methods—

A Markov decision model was constructed using data from the Randomized Evaluation of Long-Term Therapy (RE-LY) trial, other trials of warfarin therapy for atrial fibrillation, and the published cost of dabigatran. We compared the cost and quality-adjusted life expectancy associated with 150 mg dabigatran twice daily versus warfarin therapy targeted to an international normalized ratio of 2 to 3. The target population was a cohort of patients aged ≥70 years with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, prior stroke or transient ischemic attack, and no contraindication to anticoagulation.

Results—

In the base case, dabigatran was associated with 4.27 quality-adjusted life-years compared with 3.91 quality-adjusted life-years with warfarin. Dabigatran provided 0.36 additional quality-adjusted life-years at a cost of $9000, yielding an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $25 000. In sensitivity analyses, the cost-effectiveness of dabigatran was inversely related to the quality of international normalized ratio control achieved with warfarin therapy. In Monte Carlo analysis, dabigatran was cost-effective in 57% of simulations using a threshold of $50 000 per quality-adjusted life-year and 78% of simulations using a threshold of $100 000 per quality-adjusted life-year.

Conclusions—

Dabigatran appears to be cost-effective relative to warfarin for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation and prior stroke or transient ischemic attack. Our analysis is limited by its reliance on data from a substudy of a single randomized trial, and our results may not apply in settings with uncommonly good international normalized ratio control using warfarin.

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