Cost consequence analysis of fondaparinux versus enoxaparin in the prevention of venous thromboembolism after major orthopaedic surgery in Belgium

L Annemans, M C Minjoulat-Rey, M De Knock, K Vranckx, M Czarka, S Gabriel, P Haentjens
Acta Clinica Belgica 2004, 59 (6): 346-57
Fondaparinux, a selective inhibitor of activated factor X, has been shown to reduce further the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in major orthopaedic surgery compared to the low molecular weight heparin enoxaparin, when both were applied for 7 days after surgery. To compare the expected costs and clinical outcomes of fondaparinux with enoxaparin applied for 7 days after surgery, we conducted a cost-consequence analysis in patients undergoing major orthopaedic surgery, i.e. total hip replacement, total knee replacement and hip fracture repair. Our decision model included endpoints relevant in routine clinical practice and the natural history of VTE over a long term period of 5 years. Costs for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of VTE and its complications were estimated from the Belgian health care payer perspective. Analyses were conducted for different time horizons and for the three indications, separately, and then combined. Overall, our results indicated that the initial investment in fondaparinux (cost per day: 10.39 euros versus 3.74 euros for enoxaparin) was soon compensated by savings due to avoided VTE events, with cost neutrality being achieved after 90 days and further savings being incurred over longer time periods mainly due to avoided post-thrombotic syndromes. These findings were most pronounced in patients undergoing hip fracture repair. Sensitivity analyses showed these findings to be robust for the three indications separately, and combined. We conclude that our analysis of health and economic consequences over a long term period, demonstrates the value for money of fondaparinux versus enoxaparin for the prevention of VTE events after total hip replacement, total knee replacement and hip fracture repair.

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