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Cost-Effectiveness of PCSK9 Inhibitors Called Into Question

Cost-Effectiveness of PCSK9 Inhibitors Called Into Question

Wed, Aug 23, 2017

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The costs of PCSK9 inhibitors would have to be 71 percent lower to be deemed cost-effective, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The University of California, San Francisco, researchers designed a study to find out how cost-effective PCSK9 inhibitors actually are. Their study updates a prior cost-effectiveness analysis using current list prices as well as results of a recent clinical trial. That trial demonstrated the clinical effectiveness of evolocumab, one of two PCSK9 inhibitors approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Based on a simulation involving 8.9 million adults who would meet trial criteria, adding PCSK9 inhibitors to statins would prevent 2.9 million more heart attacks and strokes compared with adding ezetimibe. But the PCSK9 inhibitor class is not cost-effective based on a threshold of $100,000 for each life year gained, the study authors contend. They found that you would have to spend $450,000 per year to get one extra year of life per year.

"The price would have to be between $4,000 and $5,000 [per year] for it to be cost-effective," study coauthor Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, told HealthDay. "If you look in other countries, in Europe, for example, that is in fact where this drug is priced."

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