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Pharmacoeconomic modeling of nesiritide versus dobutamine for decompensated heart failure.

Author(s): Gerhard T, Zineh I, Winterstein AG, Hartzema AG

Affiliation(s): Department of Pharmacy Health Care Administration, University of Florida, P.O. Box 100496, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA. tgerhard@ufl.edu

Publication date & source: 2006-01, Pharmacotherapy., 26(1):34-43.

Publication type: Comparative Study ; Randomized Controlled Trial

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To model the cost-effectiveness of nesiritide compared with dobutamine in patients with decompensated heart failure. DESIGN: Cost-effectiveness analysis. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A decision tree model was derived from randomized clinical trial data and data from a previously published economic study. Four cost-effectiveness analyses were performed: analysis 1 -- full probabilistic analysis, repeatedly sampled probabilities for 6-month mortality and hospital readmission from distributions based on 95% confidence intervals (CIs); analysis 2 -- best-case nesiritide analysis, used the limiting values of the 95% CI favorable to nesiritide; analysis 3 -- best-case dobutamine analysis, used the limiting values of the 95% CI favorable to dobutamine; and analysis 4 -- replicated the previously published cost-effectiveness study and served as a methodologic control. Fifty-one consecutive Monte Carlo simulations for cohorts of 1000 hypothetical patients were performed for each analysis. Incremental cost, incremental effectiveness, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were calculated for nesiritide versus dobutamine. Analysis 1 showed a mean ICER of 767 US dollars/life-year gained for nesiritide versus dobutamine (incremental cost 251 US dollars +/- 290 US dollars, incremental effectiveness 0.33 +/- 0.22 yr). The 95% confidence region surrounding this point estimate spanned all four quadrants of the incremental cost-effectiveness scatterplot, suggesting inconclusive results. Nesiritide was the dominant treatment strategy in analysis 2 (incremental cost -734 US dollars+/- 106 US dollars, incremental effectiveness 1.19 +/- 0.07 yrs), whereas dobutamine was dominant in analysis 3 (incremental cost 1242 +/- 73 US dollars, incremental effectiveness -0.57 +/- 0.05 yr). Analysis 4 was comparable to the previously published cost-effectiveness analysis (incremental cost -77 +/- 87 US dollars, incremental effectiveness 0.48 +/- 0.05 yr). CONCLUSIONS: Based on available randomized clinical trial data, nesiritide did not exhibit robust economic superiority over dobutamine. When incorporating the uncertainty (i.e., 95% CIs) in clinical effectiveness as reported in available clinical trial data into the economic analysis, either nesiritide or dobutamine may be the dominant treatment (i.e., more effective at lower cost) for the studied population. Economic analyses of nesiritide and any comparator must account for uncertainty in estimates of cost as well as in clinical effectiveness.

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