Background: Recent studies have investigated alternatives to warfarin for stroke prophylaxis in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), but whether these alternatives are cost-effective is unknown. Methods and results: On the basis of the results from Randomized Evaluation of Long Term Anticoagulation Therapy (RE-LY) and other trials, we developed a decision-analysis model to compare the cost and quality-adjusted survival of various antithrombotic therapies. We ran our Markov model in a hypothetical cohort of 70-year-old patients with AF using a cost-effectiveness threshold of $50 000/quality-adjusted life-year. We estimated the cost of dabigatran as US $9 a day. For a patient with an average risk of major hemorrhage (<3%/y), the most cost-effective therapy depended on stroke risk. For patients with the lowest stroke rate (CHADS2 stroke score of 0), only aspirin was cost-effective. For patients with a moderate stroke rate (CHADS2 score of 1 or 2), warfarin was cost-effective unless the risk of hemorrhage was high or quality of international normalized ratio control was poor (time in the therapeutic range <57.1%). For patients with a high stroke risk (CHADS2 stroke score â‰1 3), dabigatran 150 mg (twice daily) was cost-effective unless international normalized ratio control was excellent (time in the therapeutic range >72.6%). Neither dabigatran 110 mg nor dual therapy (aspirin and clopidogrel) was cost-effective. Conclusions: Dabigatran 150 mg (twice daily) was cost-effective in AF populations at high risk of hemorrhage or high risk of stroke unless international normalized ratio control with warfarin was excellent. Warfarin was cost-effective in moderate-risk AF populations unless international normalized ratio control was poor.
- atrial fibrillation
- cost-benefit analysis