Two of GfK Health’s experts, Meghan Gavaghan and Deanna Hertz, were among several top industry minds to co-author this intriguing and significant article, published in the May issue of Stroke.
Background and Purpose: New treatments have emerged as viable treatment alternatives to warfarin for stroke risk reduction in secondary prevention populations. This analysis sought to assess the cost-effectiveness of left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) compared with warfarin and the non–vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants dabigatran 150 mg, apixaban and rivaroxaban in the prevention of stroke in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation patients with a prior stroke or transient ischemic attack.
Methods: A Markov model was constructed using data from the secondary prevention subgroup analyses of the non–vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant and LAAC pivotal trials. Costs were from 2016 US Medicare reimbursement rates and the literature. The cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted from a US Medicare perspective over a lifetime (20 years) horizon.
Results: LAAC achieved cost-effectiveness relative to dabigatran at year 5 and warfarin and apixaban at year 6. At 10 years, LAAC had more quality-adjusted life years and lower costs than warfarin, dabigatran, apixaban, and rivaroxaban, respectively, making LAAC the dominant (more effective and less costly) stroke risk reduction strategy. LAAC remained the dominant strategy over the lifetime analysis.
Conclusions: Upfront procedure costs initially make LAAC higher cost than warfarin and the non–vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants, but within 10 years, LAAC delivers more quality-adjusted life years and has lower total costs, making LAAC the most cost-effective treatment strategy for secondary prevention of stroke in atrial fibrillation.
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