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Pharmacoeconomics. 1992 Feb;1(2):124-45.

Simvastatin: a pharmacoeconomic evaluation of its cost-effectiveness in hypercholesterolaemia and prevention of coronary heart disease.

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  • 1Adis International Limited, Auckland, New Zealand.

Abstract

Epidemiological and intervention study results support reduction of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk, and hence direct and indirect costs, by lowering plasma lipids. Cost-effectiveness of a lipid-lowering strategy thus depends significantly on the extent of plasma lipid decrease achieved. The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor simvastatin is a well tolerated and highly effective antihyperlipidaemic agent. Despite a current lack of direct evidence that simvastatin reduces CHD incidence, the cost-effectiveness of the drug {in terms of years of life saved (YOLS)} has been studied, based on findings of epidemiological trials. Simvastatin 20 mg/day is more cost-effective than cholestyramine 4g 3 times daily, particularly in men and in those with a higher pretreatment cholesterol level ( greater than 8 mmol/L) and other risk factors. Cost-effectiveness is also enhanced if treatment is started at a younger age (35 to 45 years) and maintained for a defined period rather than lifelong. Thus, while additional direct comparative studies are needed to confirm this finding, present evidence suggests simvastatin is a cost-effective intervention in appropriately selected patients.

PMID:
10146941
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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