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Am J Manag Care. 2002 Oct;8(15 Suppl):S414-27.

Cost of heart failure among hypertensive users of nonspecific NSAIDs and COX-2-specific inhibitors.

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  • 1Pharmacia Corporation, Peapack, New Jersey, USA.



To determine the costs of heart failure in hypertensive patients receiving celecoxib, rofecoxib, and nonspecific nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in clinical practice.


Stable hypertensive patients without a history of heart failure and newly treated with celecoxib, rofecoxib, ibuprofen, naproxen, or diclofenac between January 1, 1999, and September 30, 2000, were identified from the LifeLink Integrated Claims Solutions employer database. The incidence rate of inpatient and outpatient heart failure claims was determined based on patients' time of exposure to study drugs after adjusting for confounding factors. The heart failure costs of managing inpatient and outpatient events were estimated as the total healthcare costs for patients with heart failure claims minus the total healthcare costs among matched control groups without heart failure claims. Healthcare costs were computed for the 0 to 30 days and 31 to 90 days following the initial outpatient or inpatient claim. Finally, the excess incidence rate of patients with inpatient and outpatient heart failure claims, relative to celecoxib, were multiplied by the heart failure cost of an inpatient and outpatient event to determine the incremental costs of heart failure associated with each of the study drugs relative to celecoxib.


Among 50 940 patients, 707 patients had outpatient heart failure claims and 229 patients had inpatient heart failure claims. In this study, rofecoxib-treated patients were 26% more likely to have an outpatient claim (rate ratio [RR] = 1.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-1.48; P= .007) and 52% more likely to have an inpatient claim (RR = 1.52; 95% Cl, 1.15-2.02; P = .003) for heart failure than celecoxib-treated patients. The adjusted RR of heart failure claims was similar between celecoxib and NSAIDs. The average cost of outpatient heart failure was $1054 within 30 days and $221 for the period 31 to 90 days after the initial claim (total 90-day cost of $1275). The cost for a patient with inpatient heart failure was $5966 during the hospitalization. The 90-day posthospitalization heart failure cost was $245 (total 90-day cost of $6,211 for hospitalization and follow-up). The total heart failure-related incremental cost per patient per day of use was $0.15 for rofecoxib and $0.04 for nonspecific NSAIDs relative to celecoxib.


The additional heart failure costs associated with the use of rofecoxib significantly add to its cost in patients with stable hypertension, relative to celecoxib and nonspecific NSAIDs. The higher heart failure costs of rofecoxib were attributable to the higher incidence of patients with inpatient and outpatient heart failure claims relative to celecoxib and nonspecific NSAID populations being compared.

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