OBJECTIVE To assess the cost effectiveness of ramipril treatment in patients at low, medium, and high risk of cardiovascular death.
DESIGN Population based cost effectiveness analysis from the perspective of the health care provider in the UK. Effectiveness was modelled using data from the HOPE (heart outcome prevention evaluation) trial. The life table method was used to predict mortality in a medium risk cohort, as in the HOPE trial (2.44% annual mortality), and in low and high risk groups (1% and 4.5% annual mortality, respectively).
SETTING UK population using 1998 government actuary department data.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE Cost per life year gained at five years and lifetime treatment with ramipril.
RESULTS Cost effectiveness was £36 600, £13 600, and £4000 per life year gained at five years and £5300, £1900, and £100 per life year gained at 20 years (lifetime treatment) in low, medium, and high risk groups, respectively. Cost effectiveness at 20 years remained well below that of haemodialysis (£25 000 per life year gained) over a range of potential drug costs and savings. Treatment of the HOPE population would cost the UK National Health Service (NHS) an additional £360 million but would prevent 12 000 deaths per annum.
CONCLUSIONS Ramipril is cost effective treatment for cardiovascular risk reduction in patients at medium, high, and low pretreatment risk, with a cost effectiveness comparable with the use of statins. Implementation of ramipril treatment in a medium risk population would result in a major reduction in cardiovascular deaths but would increase annual NHS spending by £360 million.
- angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor
- cardiovascular risk
- cost effectiveness
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