Budget impact analysis of apixaban versus other NOACs for the prevention of stroke in Italian atrial fibrillation patients

Lorenzo Pradelli, Mario Calandriello, Roberto Di Virgilio, Marco Bellone, Marco Tubaro

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7175/fe.v15i1s.973


OBJECTIVE: This study aims to perform a budget impact analysis of the use of three available novel oral anticoagulant agents (NOACs) for preventing thromboembolic events in Italian patients with non‑valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF).
METHODS: Estimated Italian population of patients was run through a previously published lifetime decision tree/Markov model simulating their treatment with the available therapeutic options: dabigatran at two dose levels (110 mg/bid for the over 80 years old, 150 mg/bid for younger NVAF patients), rivaroxaban (20 mg/uid), and apixaban (5 mg/bid). Effectiveness and safety estimates derive from an adjusted indirect treatment comparison using warfarin as link. The main clinical events considered in the model are ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, systemic thromboembolism, bleeds (both major and clinically relevant minor) and cardiovascular hospitalizations, besides treatment discontinuations. Epidemiological data and unit costs, actualized to 2013, are collected from Italian published sources. The budget impact analysis evaluates the financial impact of apixaban introduction by comparing expected 1,2, and 3 years costs in hypothetical scenarios: with and without apixaban. Italian NVAF patient population estimation is based on official apixaban reimbursement criteria, applying the characteristics of the trial population to national epidemiologic data. Numbers of patients for each regimen are estimated by projecting share evolution. Sensitivity analysis is performed on an alternative non‑experimental population of NVAF patients.
RESULTS: Among available NOACs, apixaban was expected to be the least expensive in an estimated patient population of 364,000 Italian patients, allowing for savings of € 1,180,549, € 3,841,429 and € 5,368,918 at 1,2, and 3 years, respectively. Results of the simulation run on an alternative non‑experimental population of NVAF patients yields comparable estimates.
CONCLUSIONS: The different safety and effectiveness profiles of the three available NOACs emerging from the adjusted indirect comparison indicate that apixaban could improve health care expenditure control while maintaining or increasing therapeutic appropriateness in the Italian NVAF population.


Apixaban; Novel oral anticoagulant agents; Atrial fibrillation

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