Cost-effectiveness of statin therapy for vascular event prevention in adults with elevated C-reactive protein: Implications of JUPITER

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Objectives: High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) has been explored for use in predicting cardiovascular risk. The recent Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention: An Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin (JUPITER) study found that statin therapy reduced cardiovascular events in those with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels below current treatment thresholds (130mg/dL, 3.4mmol/L), but with elevated hs-CRP levels (>2.0mg/L). This study examines the cost-effectiveness of statin treatment for individuals with elevated hs-CRP but normal LDL cholesterol. Methods: A Markov decision-analytic model was conducted from the U.S. societal perspective. Data from JUPITER were used to estimate rates of myocardial infarction, angina and stroke. Statin costs were based on generic simvastatin 80mg, equipotent to the rosuvastatin 20mg dose used in JUPITER. Primary prevention was the focus and secondary prevention was not modeled explicitly. Quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) were calculated using nationally representative preference-based utility weights. One-way sensitivity analyses and multivariate probabilistic sensitivity analysis were used to explore uncertainty in model parameters as well as estimate the likelihood of cost-effectiveness when all event rates, costs and utilities were drawn randomly from distributions reflecting uncertainty. Results: Statin therapy cost $10,889/QALY for vascular event prevention in this population. Results were sensitive to the cost of statin treatment. Based on 10,000 simulations, statin therapy was cost-effective in 99.5 of simulations, using a willingness-to-pay threshold of $20,000/QALY, and 100 of simulations using a threshold of $50,000/QALY. Conclusions: Treatment with statins in patients with elevated hs-CRP but normal cholesterol appears to be cost-effective. Limitations of this study include the assumption that an equipotent dose of simvastatin resulted in the same risk reduction as rosuvastatin. Further, post-event states simulated the average experience of a patient. Continued statin use, subsequent events and/or heart failure were not explicitly modeled. © 2010 Informa UK Ltd.

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