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Clin Drug Investig. 2000;20(2):109-21. doi: 10.2165/00044011-200020020-00006.

Cost-effectiveness analysis for statin therapies in the primary prevention of coronary heart disease in Italy.

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  • 1pbe consultants in Healthcare, V.lo Agnello 1, 37121, Verona, Italy,



The objective of this analysis was to compare the costs, benefits and cost effectiveness of two dosage regimens of cerivastatin (0.2 and 0.4 mg/day) with Italian National Health Service (NHS) reimbursed comparative statins in the primary prevention of coronary heart disease in Italy. This study is part of a broader analysis undertaken in five European countries.


A cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) was performed, as the interventions have the same treatment objectives but vary in terms of magnitude of effectiveness. This CEA compared alternative treatments both in the NHS and from societal perspectives.


A coronary heart disease risk assessment model, based on intervention study data from the Lipid Research Clinics Coronary Primary Prevention Trial, was used. This was augmented with demographic, disease, life expectancy, pharmacological and economic data for patients with coronary heart disease in Italy.


In terms of average cost effectiveness, our analysis showed that cerivastatin 0.2 mg/day compared favourably with pravastatin 20 mg/day, and compared similarly with simvastatin 20 mg/day in all age groups studied. The study also demonstrated that cerivastatin 0.4 mg/day compared favourably with both simvastatin 40 mg/day and pravastatin 20 mg/day. These results were consistent for both the NHS and societal perspective.The incremental cost per life-year gained [in 1998 Italian lire (L)] of simvastatin versus cerivastatin ranged from about L40 million [or Euro (Eur)20 658] to greater than L650 million (or Eur335 697). Cerivastatin 0.2 mg/day was more cost-effective than pravastatin 20 mg/day, while the incremental cost per life-year gained for cerivastatin 0.4 mg/day versus pravastatin 20 mg/day ranged from L11.1 million (or Eur5733) to L31.8 million (or Eur16 423) in the three age groups (35 to 39 years, 50 to 54 years and 65 to 69 years) for both perspectives.


The results of this study showed that in primary prevention, average cost-effectiveness ratios of cerivastatin compared favourably with those of the other pharmacological interventions available on the Italian market.

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