Cost-effectiveness of ticagrelor plus aspirin versus aspirin in acute ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack: an economic evaluation of the THALES trial
Cost-effectiveness of ticagrelor plus aspirin versus aspirin in acute ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack: an economic evaluation of the THALES trial, 2023 (1.108Mb)
Objective THALES demonstrated that ticagrelor plus aspirin reduced the risk of stroke or death but increased bleeding versus aspirin during the 30 days following a mild-to-moderate acute non-cardioembolic ischaemic stroke (AIS) or high-risk transient ischaemic attack (TIA). There are no cost-effectiveness analyses supporting this combination in Europe. To address this, a cost-effectiveness analysis was performed. Methods Cost-effectiveness was evaluated using a decision tree and Markov model with a short-term and long-term (30-year) horizon. Stroke, mortality, bleeding and EuroQol-5 Dimension (EQ-5D) data from THALES were used to estimate short-term outcomes. Model transitions were based on stroke severity (disabling stroke was defined as modified Rankin Scale >2). Healthcare resource utilisation and EQ-5D data beyond 30 days were based on SOCRATES, another trial in AIS/TIA that compared ticagrelor with aspirin. Long-term costs, survival and disutilities were based on published literature. Unit costs were derived from national databases and discounted at 3% annually from a Swedish healthcare perspective. Results One-month treatment with ticagrelor plus aspirin resulted in 12 fewer strokes, 4 additional major bleeds and cost savings of €95 000 per 1000 patients versus aspirin from a Swedish healthcare perspective. This translated into increased quality-adjusted life-years (0.04) and reduced societal costs (−€1358) per patient over a lifetime horizon. Key drivers of cost-effectiveness were number of patients experiencing subsequent disabling stroke and degree of disability. Findings were robust over a range of input assumptions. Conclusion One month of treatment with ticagrelor plus aspirin is likely to improve outcomes and reduce costs versus aspirin in mild-to-moderate AIS or high-risk TIA.
Health economics; Stroke
Tank A, Johnston SC, Jain R, Amarenco P, Mellström C, Rikner K, et al. Cost-effectiveness of ticagrelor plus aspirin versus aspirin in acute ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack: an economic evaluation of the THALES trial. BMJ Neurol Open. 2023 Aug 24;5(2):e000478.
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