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01-02-2011 | Original Article | Uitgave 2/2011

Netherlands Heart Journal 2/2011

Economic evaluation of ezetimibe combined with simvastatin for the treatment of primary hypercholesterolaemia

Netherlands Heart Journal > Uitgave 2/2011
F. van Nooten, G. M. Davies, J. W. Jukema, A. H. Liem, E. Yap, X. H. Hu
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This study aims to assess the cost-effectiveness of ezetimibe plus simvastatin (E/S) versus atorvastatin or simvastatin monotherapy as second-line treatment of primary hypercholesterolaemia from the Dutch healthcare perspective.


The evaluation used a Markov model and patient data from the Dutch EASEGO study in which patients failing to reach goal low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels on atorvastatin 10 mg or simvastatin 20 mg had their dose doubled or switched to ezetimibe 10 mg plus generic simvastatin 20 mg (E10/S20). The second scenario, based on Dutch guidelines, switched patients from simvastatin 40 mg to atorvastatin 40 mg, or ezetimibe 10 mg was added to simvastatin 40 mg (E10/S40). The key effectiveness input measure was change in total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein ratio obtained from the EASEGO study. In conformity with published studies linking reduced lipid levels to reduced risk of cardiovascular events, the present model assumed that a lipid decrease with ezetimibe may be a signal for reduced risk of cardiovascular events. Model parameters were derived from published literature. Sensitivity analyses were performed for the key parameters.


In the EASEGO scenario, incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for E10/S20 was €3497/quality-adjusted life-years (QALY) vs atorvastatin 20 mg and €26,417/QALY vs simvastatin 40 mg. In the Dutch guidelines scenario, E10/S40 was dominant (more effective and cost-saving) vs atorvastatin 40 mg. Varying model inputs had limited impact on the cost-effectiveness of E/S.


The analysis showed the cost-effectiveness of E/S versus atorvastatin 20 mg or simvastatin 40 mg (EASEGO scenario) at a threshold of €30,000/QALY and vs atorvastatin 40 mg was dominant (Dutch guidelines). Thus, E/S seems a valuable cost-effective second-line treatment option for patients not attaining lipid treatment goals.

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Netherlands Heart Journal

Het Netherlands Heart Journal wordt uitgegeven in samenwerking met de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Cardiologie en de Nederlandse Hartstichting. Het tijdschrift is Engelstalig en wordt gratis beschikbaa ...

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