Background: The PLATO (Platelet Inhibition and Patient Outcomes) randomized trial (NCT00391872) in patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) reported that ticagrelor (in addition to aspirin) reduced the rate of the composite end point of myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, or cardiovascular death compared with clopidogrel (in addition to aspirin) by 16% over 12 months. (P < 0.001). No significant difference in the incidence of major bleeding was noted, but ticagrelor was associated with a higher rate of major bleeding not related to coronary artery bypass grafting. Objective: By extrapolating the key findings of PLATO, we sought to assess the cost-effectiveness of ticagrelor compared with clopidogrel in the management of ACS in a contemporary Australian setting. Methods: A Markov model with 4 health states (free from further ACS events, MI, stroke, and death) was developed to simulate the long-term costs and outcomes associated with ACS. Event risks were based on data derived directly from PLATO, and costs and utilities were drawn from published sources. A 10-year time horizon was simulated, and future costs and benefits were discounted at a 5% annual rate. However, treatment with ticagrelor and clopidogrel was only assumed for the first 12 months, with no benefits applied beyond drug cessation. Sensitivity analyses were undertaken based on variations to key data inputs. All costs for resource use applied in the analysis were based on published Australian prices (in 2010/2011 dollars [A$]). Results: Over 10 years, the estimated quality-adjusted life-years lived per-patient were 5.74 and 5.68 for ticagrelor and clopidogrel, respectively. Net costs were A$19,132 for ticagrelor and A$18,428 for clopidogrel. These equated to an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of A$9031 per quality-adjusted life-year gained for ticagrelor compared with clopidogrel. Sensitivity analyses indicated the result to be robust. Conclusions: When assessed from the perspective of the Australian health care system, ticagrelor is likely to be cost-effective compared with clopidogrel in preventing downstream morbidity and mortality associated with ACS.
- Acute coronary syndromes