A multi-country health-economic evaluation of highly concentrated n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the secondary prevention after myocardial infarction.Herz. 2006 Dec; 31 Suppl 3:74-82.HERZ
Patients who survive an acute myocardial infarction (MI) are at increased risk of subsequent major cardiovascular events and cardiac (often sudden) death. The use of highly concentrated and purified omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), in addition to standard secondary prevention after MI, results in a significant reduction in the risk of sudden death. This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of adding n-3 PUFAs to the current secondary prevention treatment after acute MI in 5 countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Poland. Based on the clinical outcomes of GISSI-Prevenzione (MI, stroke, revascularisation rate and mortality), a decision-model was built in DataPROTM. The implications of adding n-3 PUFAs to standard treatment in patients with a recent history of MI were analysed from the health care payer's perspective. The time horizon was 3.5 years (identical to GISSI-Prevenzione). Event costs were based on literature data. Life expectancy data for survivors of cardiac disease were taken from the Saskatchewan database and then country-adjusted. Results are expressed as extra cost (Euro) per life-year gained (LYG). Annual discounting of 5% was applied to health effects and costs. Treatment with highly concentrated n-3 PUFAs yielded between 0.260 (Poland) and 0.284 (Australia) LYG, at an additional cost of Euro 807 (Canada) to Euro 1,451 (Belgium). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) varied between Euro 2,867 (Canada) and Euro 5,154 (Belgium) per LYG. Sensitivity analyses on effectiveness, cost of complications and discounting proved the robustness of the results. A 2nd order Monte Carlo simulation based on the 95% CIs obtained from GISSI showed that highly concentrated n-3 PUFAs are cost-effective in more than 99% of patients (assuming societal willingness to pay threshold of Euro 20,000/LYG). Including health care costs incurred during the remaining life-years considerably increased total costs, but had no impact on the ICER-based treatment recommendation. Adding highly concentrated n-3 PUFAs to standard treatment in the secondary prevention after MI appears to be cost-effective in the 5 countries studied.