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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Nov 2;44(9):1792-800.

Economic evaluation of bivalirudin with provisional glycoprotein IIB/IIIA inhibition versus heparin with routine glycoprotein IIB/IIIA inhibition for percutaneous coronary intervention: results from the REPLACE-2 trial.

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Cardiovascular Division, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



The purpose of this study was to compare the cost of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) using bivalirudin with provisional platelet glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa inhibition with that of heparin + routine GP IIb/IIIa inhibition.


Although GP IIb/IIIa inhibition has been shown to reduce ischemic complications in a broad range of patients undergoing PCI, many patients currently do not receive such therapy because of concerns about bleeding complications or cost. Recently, bivalirudin with provisional GP IIb/IIIa inhibition has been validated as an alternative to heparin + routine GP IIb/IIIa inhibition for patients undergoing PCI. However, the cost-effectiveness of this novel strategy is unknown.


In the Randomized Evaluation in PCI Linking Angiomax to Reduced Clinical Events (REPLACE)-2 trial, 4,651 U.S. patients undergoing non-emergent PCI were randomized to receive bivalirudin with provisional GP IIb/IIIa (n = 2,319) versus heparin + routine GP IIb/IIIa (n = 2,332). Resource utilization data were collected prospectively through 30-day follow-up on all U.S. patients. Medical care costs were estimated using standard methods including bottom-up accounting (for procedural costs), the Medicare fee schedule (for physician services), hospital billing data (for 2,821 of 4,862 admissions), and regression-based approaches for the remaining hospitalizations.


Among the bivalirudin group, 7.7% required provisional GP IIb/IIIa. Thirty-day ischemic outcomes including death or myocardial infarction were similar for the bivalirudin and GP IIb/IIIa groups, but bivalirudin resulted in lower rates of major bleeding (2.8% vs. 4.5%, p = 0.002) and minor bleeding (15.1% vs. 28.1%, p < 0.001). Compared with routine GP IIb/IIIa, in-hospital and 30-day costs were reduced by $405 (95% confidence interval [CI] $37 to $773) and $374 (95% CI $61 to $688) per patient with bivalirudin (p < 0.001 for both). Regression modeling demonstrated that, in addition to the costs of the anticoagulants themselves, hospital savings were due primarily to reductions in major bleeding (cost savings = $107/patient), minor bleeding ($52/patient), and thrombocytopenia ($47/patient).


Compared with heparin + routine GP IIb/IIIa inhibition, bivalirudin + provisional GP IIb/IIIa inhibition resulted in similar acute ischemic events and cost savings of $375 to $400/patient depending on the analytic perspective.

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