Objective: To evaluate if long-term treatment with ramipril is cost-effective in patients at high risk of cardiovascular events.
Design: Randomized double-blind and placebo controlled. Information was gathered prospectively for a number of direct medical, direct nonmedical and indirect costs.
Setting and subject: This is a sub-study to the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) study performed in Swedish patients. All Swedish centres (19; n= 554) were invited to take part and 18 centres agreed to do so (n=537). The patients were managed in a specialist setting with a mean follow-up period of 4.5 years. Main outcome measures. The number of life-years saved was derived from the global HOPE study (n=9297) and subsequently the estimated life expectancy of those who completed the clinical study alive was added to the calculation. Direct medical costs related to cardiovascular disease only were considered in the primary analysis, whilst all kinds of costs and costs for all kinds of diseases were included in subsequent analyses. The cost of added years of life, according to the future cost method, was included in sensitivity analyses.
Results: The cost per life-year gained was SEK 16 600 (Euro 1940) when direct medical costs for cardiovascular reasons only were considered and SEK 45 400 (Euro 5300) when direct medical costs for all diseases were considered. The corresponding costs when direct nonmedical and indirect cost were added to the estimate were SEK 16 100 (Euro 1880) and SEK 54 600 (Euro 6380), respectively. When the future cost method was applied, the cost per life-year gained was SEK 208 300 (Euro 24 300).
Conclusion: Ramipril is highly cost-effective in the treatment of patients at high risk of cardiovascular events.