Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Common Medication To Prevent Heart Attacks & Stroke Is Cost-Effective When Given Long-Term

Date:
April 11, 2005
Source:
Emory University Health Sciences Center
Summary:
Researchers at Emory University have determined that a common medication given to prevent heart attacks and stroke is highly cost-effective for those who have suffered a less-damaging type of heart attack, while it is also effective in preventing another episode from occurring. The medication, clopidogrel (brand name Plavix), is expensive, but because of its life-saving benefits, researchers believe it provides good value.

Researchers at Emory University have determined that a common medication given to prevent heart attacks and stroke is highly cost-effective for those who have suffered a less-damaging type of heart attack, while it is also effective in preventing another episode from occurring. The medication, clopidogrel (brand name Plavix), is expensive, but because of its life-saving benefits, researchers believe it provides good value. Their results will be published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) on Tuesday, March 15.

Related Articles


People who have had a heart attack or stroke are more likely to have clots form in their arteries. These clots can limit or stop the flow of blood to vital areas in the body. A clot in a coronary artery can lead to a heart attack. A clot in a cerebral (brain) artery can lead to a stroke. Clopidogrel works by helping to keep platelets (cell-like particles that assist in the clotting of blood) in the blood from sticking together and forming clots.

"Based on previous studies, clopidogrel has been shown to prevent future heart attacks in patients," says William Weintraub, MD, professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine, and lead investigator of the study. "So we wanted to find: Is it cost-effective to take clopidogrel up to one year after a coronary event? And how much will it cost to extend lives in relation to the cost of the medication?"

The researchers used data from a previous study called CURE, or Clopidogrel in Unstable angina to prevent Recurrent Events, which evaluated the safety and effectiveness of the medication. From December 1998 to September 2000, 12,562 participants from 28 countries were recruited for the CURE trial. The participants, who either had unstable angina or a non-ST-segment elevation heart attack (a heart attack in only the inner wall of the heart, causing less damage than a major heart attack through the heart muscle from inner to outer surface), were randomly selected to receive clopidogrel (loading dose of 300 mg followed by 75 mg per day) plus aspirin or aspirin alone.

Participants took the medications for up to one year (average of nine months) after a heart event. The CURE results showed the use of clopidogrel for up to one year after a heart event reduced the risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack and stroke.

"We used this same group of people to then evaluate the long-term cost-effectiveness of clopidogrel by translating the reduced number of primary fatal and non-fatal events observed in the CURE trial into estimates of gains in life expectancy," says Dr. Weintraub. "Ultimately, these figures helped us determine the costs of saving a year of life with clopidogrel."

Excluding the costs of purchasing clopidogrel, average costs of hospitalizations alone were $325 lower per person in the clopidogrel arm. But when costs of purchasing the drug were added in, average total costs were $442 higher per person in the clopidogrel arm.

"For patients with acute coronary syndromes, we found anti-platelet therapy using clopidogrel is not only cost-effective, but also beneficial in preventing future heart attacks and stroke," Dr. Weintraub explains. "Our study shows that this drug can help prevent big coronary events, help some patients to live longer, and it is cost-effective. Many physicians resist prescribing this medication due to expense. I hope they see the results of this study and realize it is a life-saving, cost-worthy therapy."

The maker of clopidogrel, Sanofi-Aventis, sponsored this study. Dr. Weintraub has served as a consultant to Sanofi-Aventis, as well as received research-funding support from the company.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Emory University Health Sciences Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins