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Pharmacoeconomics. 2004;22 Suppl 4:19-27.

The value of clopidogrel versus aspirin in reducing atherothrombotic events: the CAPRIE study.

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  • 1Public Health Service, Henri Mondor Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France.


Atherothrombotic disease is a growing health problem, and is increasingly more costly to manage. Clopidogrel is an advanced, specific adenosine diphosphate receptor antagonist, which has been shown to be a highly potent antiplatelet agent. Data from the Clopidogrel versus Aspirin in Patients at Risk of Ischaemic Events (CAPRIE) study have demonstrated the significantly superior clinical benefit of clopidogrel over aspirin for secondary prevention of atherothrombotic disease, with a relative risk reduction in myocardial infarction, stroke or vascular death of 8.7% (95% confidence interval 0.3, 16.5; P = 0.043). Moreover, clopidogrel demonstrated an amplified clinical benefit versus aspirin in patients at high risk of atherothrombotic events, such as those with a previous history of symptomatic atherothrombotic disease or with major risk factors such as diabetes mellitus or hypercholesterolaemia. On the basis of commonly accepted threshold criteria (Euros 20000 per life-year gained; LYG), clopidogrel in comparison with aspirin is cost-effective for the secondary prevention of atherothrombotic disease (cost per LYG ranging from Euros 19462 to Euros 3256). Economic analyses have demonstrated consistent cost-effectiveness results with clopidogrel in different countries. Moreover, in high-risk patient subgroups the cost-effectiveness of clopidogrel in comparison with aspirin was evenbetter (cost per LYG ranging from Euros 5900 to Euros 6310). Compared with other treatment strategies used for the prevention of ischaemic or atherothrombotic events, the cost-effectiveness of clopidogrel in comparison with aspirin based on CAPRIE is favourable, with most analyses in the intermediate range of cost-effectiveness. The available data thus support the use of clopidogrel as a clinically efficient and cost-effective option for secondary prevention of atherothrombotic disease, particularly in high-risk patients.

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