Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the economic impact of several anticoagulation strategies for moderate- and high-risk non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) patients managed invasively.
Background: The ACUITY (Acute Catheterization and Urgent Intervention Triage Strategy) trial demonstrated that bivalirudin monotherapy yields similar rates of ischemic complications and less bleeding than regimens incorporating glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor inhibitors (GPI) for moderate- and high-risk NSTE-ACS.
Methods: In ACUITY, 7,851 U.S. patients were randomized to: 1) heparin (unfractionated or enoxaparin) + GPI; 2) bivalirudin + GPI; or 3) bivalirudin monotherapy. Patients assigned to GPI were also randomized to upstream GPI before catheterization or selective GPI only with percutaneous coronary intervention. Resource use data were collected prospectively through 30-day follow-up. Costs were estimated with standard methods including resource-based accounting, hospital billing data, and the Medicare fee schedule.
Results: At 30 days, ischemic events were similar for all groups. Major bleeding was reduced with bivalirudin monotherapy compared with heparin + GPI or bivalirudin + GPI (p < 0.001). Length of stay was lowest with bivalirudin monotherapy or bivalirudin + catheterization laboratory GPI (p = 0.02). Despite higher drug costs, aggregate hospital stay costs were lowest with bivalirudin monotherapy (mean difference range: $184 to $1,081, p < 0.001 for overall comparison) and at 30 days (mean difference range: $123 to $938, p = 0.005). Regression modeling demonstrated that hospital savings were primarily due to less major and minor bleeding with bivalirudin ($8,658/event and $2,282/event, respectively).
Conclusions: Among U.S. patients in the ACUITY trial, bivalirudin monotherapy compared with heparin + GPI resulted in similar protection from ischemic events, reduced bleeding, and shorter length of stay. Despite higher drug costs, aggregate hospital and 30-day costs were lowest with bivalirudin monotherapy. Thus bivalirudin monotherapy seems to be an economically attractive alternative to heparin + GPI for patients with moderate- and high-risk NSTE-ACS. (Comparison of Angiomax Versus Heparin in Acute Coronary Syndromes [ACS]; NCT00093158).