Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
CMAJ. 2000 Jan 25;162(2):195-8.

To pay or not to pay? A decision and cost-utility analysis of angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor therapy for diabetic nephropathy.

Author information

  • 1Division of Nephrology, London Health Sciences Centre, Ont.

Erratum in

  • CMAJ 2000 Apr 4;162(7):973.



Angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor therapy can significantly delay the progression of diabetic nephropathy to end-stage renal failure (ESRF). The main obstacle to successful compliance with this therapy is the cost to the patients. The authors performed a cost-utility analysis from the government's perspective to see whether the province or territory should pay for ACE inhibitors for type I diabetic nephropathy on the assumption that cost is a major barrier to compliance with this important therapy.


A decision analysis tree was created to demonstrate the progression of type I diabetes with macroproteinuria from the point of prescription of ACE inhibitor therapy through to ESRF management, with a 21-year follow-up. Drug compliance, cost of ESRF treatment, utilities and survival data were taken from Canadian sources and used in the cost-utility analysis. One-way and two-way sensitivity analyses were performed to test the robustness of the findings.


Compared with a no-payment strategy, provincial payment of ACE inhibitor therapy was found to be highly cost-effective: it resulted in an increase of 0.147 in the number of quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and an annual cost savings of $849 per patient. The sensitivity analyses indicated that the cost-effectiveness depends on compliance, effect of benefit and the cost of drug therapy. Changes in the compliance rate from 67% to 51% could result in a swing in cost-effectiveness from a savings of $899 to an expenditure of more than $1 million per additional QALY. A 50% reduction in the cost of ACE inhibitors would result in a cost savings of $299 per additional QALY with compliance rates as low as 58% in the provincial payment strategy.


Provincial coverage of ACE inhibitor therapy for type I diabetes with macroproteinuria improves patient outcomes, with a decrease in cost for ESRF services.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk