Multinational economic evaluation of valsartan in patients with chronic heart failure: results from the Valsartan Heart Failure Trial (Val-HeFT).
BACKGROUND: The Valsartan Heart Failure Trial (Val-HeFT) compared valsartan versus placebo in 5010 patients taking prescribed background therapy for New York Heart Association class II to IV heart failure. Valsartan reduced the risk of heart failure hospitalization and improved clinical signs and symptoms of heart failure. We sought to compare resource use, costs, and health outcomes among patients taking prescribed therapy for heart failure and randomly assigned to receive valsartan or placebo. METHODS: Measures of resource use were based on data collected during the trial. Unit cost estimates were collected from individual countries and converted to 1999 US dollars. Total costs were estimated for hospitalizations, inpatient and outpatient physician services, ambulance transportation, deaths outside the hospital, and outpatient cardiovascular medications. RESULTS: Mean follow-up was 23 months. Mean costs for heart failure hospitalizations were 423 dollars lower among patients receiving valsartan (95% CI, -706 to -146). Mean total costs were 9008 dollars for patients receiving valsartan and 8464 dollars for patients receiving placebo, a net incremental cost of 545 dollars (95% CI, -149 to 1148), including the cost of valsartan. There was an overall reduction in total costs of 929 dollars (95% CI, -3243 to 1533) among patients not receiving an ACE inhibitor at baseline but a slight increase in costs of 334 dollars (95% CI, -497 to 1199) among those receiving an ACE inhibitor without a beta-blocker and a 1246 dollars increase (95% CI, 54 to 2230) in patients receiving both an ACE inhibitor and a beta-blocker at baseline. CONCLUSIONS: Valsartan provided clinical benefits at a mean incremental cost of 285 dollars per year during the trial. In patients not taking ACE inhibitors, valsartan was economically attractive, increasing survival while reducing or marginally increasing overall costs.
Reed, SD; Friedman, JY; Velazquez, EJ; Gnanasakthy, A; Califf, RM; Schulman, KA
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