Cost effectiveness of desirudin compared with a low molecular weight heparin in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis after total hip replacement surgery

L A Levin, D Bergqvist
PharmacoEconomics 2001, 19 (5 Pt 2): 589-97

OBJECTIVES: This prospective pharmacoeconomic study analyses and discusses the cost effectiveness (expressed as cost per life-year gained) of desirudin in comparison with a low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), enoxaparin, as prophylaxis against deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in total hip replacement.

METHODS: The cost effectiveness was analysed on the basis of results from a clinical trial that compared the recombinant hirudin, desirudin, with the LMWH, enoxaparin. The trial results regarding the incidence of DVT are included together with epidemiological data in a decision tree, simulating long term cost effectiveness of patients undergoing elective hip replacement. The model includes Markov processes simulating patients up to the age of 85 years, including the costs of DVT-related long term complications.

RESULTS: The average total thrombosis-related cost per patient under prophylactic therapy with enoxaparin is 7,022 Swedish kronor (SEK) compared with SEK7,497 when using desirudin (1998 values). The total costs with desirudin are 7% higher. Prophylaxis with desirudin in those patients undergoing elective hip replacement surgery adds, on average, 7 days of life per patient when compared with treatment using enoxaparin. This is equivalent to 1.91 additional years of life per 100 patients treated. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of prophylaxis with desirudin in patients undergoing elective hip replacement surgery is SEK24,864 per life-year gained in comparison with enoxaparin.

CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrates that prophylactic therapy with desirudin is a cost-effective approach for the prevention of DVT in patients undergoing total hip replacement.

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