Cost-effectiveness of aldosterone antagonists for the treatment of post-myocardial infarction heart failure

Claire McKenna, Simon Walker, Paula Lorgelly, Elisabeth Fenwick, Jane Burch, Sara Suekarran, Ameet Bakhai, Klaus Witte, Melissa Harden, Kath Wright, Nerys Woolacott, Stephen Palmer
Value in Health: the Journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research 2012, 15 (3): 420-8

OBJECTIVE: To assess the cost-effectiveness of eplerenone versus spironolactone as an adjunctive therapy to standard care in patients with heart failure (HF) following a myocardial infarction (post-MI) from the perspective of the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.

METHODS: A systematic review was conducted, and a Bayesian meta-regression approach was used to establish the relative effectiveness of eplerenone and spironolactone by using evidence from randomized controlled trials. A decision analytic model was developed to assess the costs and consequences associated with the primary outcome of the trials over a lifetime time horizon.

RESULTS: The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of eplerenone compared with that of standard care alone was £ 4457 and £ 7893 for each additional quality-adjusted life-year when 2-year and lifetime treatment duration was assumed, respectively. In both scenarios, spironolactone did not appear cost-effective compared with eplerenone. The results were sensitive to the higher relative effectiveness estimated for eplerenone compared with spironolactone from the meta-regression. When a class effect was assumed for the effect on mortality and hospitalizations, spironolactone emerged as the most cost-effective treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Eplerenone appears more cost-effective than spironolactone for the treatment of post-MI HF. These findings, however, remain subject to important uncertainties regarding the effects of treatment on major clinical events. An adequately powered, well-conducted randomized controlled trial that directly compares spironolactone and eplerenone may be required to provide more robust evidence on the optimal management of post-MI HF. Despite these uncertainties, the use of an aldosterone antagonist was consistently demonstrated to be a highly cost-effective strategy for the management of post-MI HF in the National Health Service.

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