Economic impact of enoxaparin versus unfractionated heparin for venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in patients with acute ischemic stroke: a hospital perspective of the PREVAIL trial

Graham Pineo, Jay Lin, Lee Stern, Tarun Subrahmanian, Lieven Annemans
Journal of Hospital Medicine: An Official Publication of the Society of Hospital Medicine 2012, 7 (3): 176-82

BACKGROUND: The PREVAIL (Prevention of VTE [venous thromboembolism] after acute ischemic stroke with LMWH [low-molecular-weight heparin] and UFH [unfractionated heparin]) study demonstrated a 43% VTE risk reduction with enoxaparin versus UFH in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS). A 1% rate of symptomatic intracranial and major extracranial hemorrhage was observed in both groups.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the economic impact, from a hospital perspective, of enoxaparin versus UFH for VTE prophylaxis after AIS.

DESIGN: A decision-analytic model was constructed and hospital-based costs analyzed using clinical information from PREVAIL. Total hospital costs were calculated based on mean costs in the Premier™ database and from wholesalers acquisition data. Costs were also compared in patients with severe stroke (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS] score ≥14) and less severe stroke (NIHSS score <14).

RESULTS: The average cost per patient due to VTE or bleeding events was lower with enoxaparin versus UFH ($422 vs $662, respectively; net savings $240). The average anticoagulant cost, including drug-administration cost per patient, was lower with UFH versus enoxaparin ($259 vs $360, respectively; net savings $101). However, when both clinical events and drug-acquisition costs were considered, the total hospital cost was lower with enoxaparin versus UFH ($782 vs $922, respectively; savings $140). Hospital cost-savings were greatest ($287) in patients with NIHSS scores ≥14.

CONCLUSIONS: The higher drug cost of enoxaparin was offset by the reduction in clinical events as compared to the use of UFH for VTE prophylaxis after an AIS, particularly in patients with severe stroke.

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