Cost-effectiveness of dabigatran versus genotype-guided management of warfarin therapy for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation

PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39640. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039640. Epub 2012 Jun 22.


Background: Dabigatran is associated with lower rate of stroke comparing to warfarin when anticoagulation control is sub-optimal. Genotype-guided warfarin dosing and management may improve patient-time in target range (TTR) and therefore affect the cost-effectiveness of dabigatran compared with warfain. We examined the cost-effectiveness of dabigatran versus warfarin therapy with genotype-guided management in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

Methodology/principal findings: A Markov model was designed to compare life-long economic and treatment outcomes of dabigatran (110 mg and 150 mg twice daily), warfarin usual anticoagulation care (usual AC) with mean TTR 64%, and genotype-guided anticoagulation care (genotype-guided AC) in a hypothetical cohort of AF patients aged 65 years old with CHADS(2) score 2. Model inputs were derived from literature. The genotype-guided AC was assumed to achieve TTR = 78.9%, adopting the reported TTR achieved by warfarin service with good anticoagulation control in literature. Outcome measure was incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained (ICER) from perspective of healthcare payers. In base-case analysis, dabigatran 150 mg gained higher QALYs than genotype-guided AC (10.065QALYs versus 9.554QALYs) at higher cost (USD92,684 versus USD85,627) with ICER = USD13,810. Dabigatran 110 mg and usual AC gained less QALYs but cost more than dabigatran 150 mg and genotype-guided AC, respectively. ICER of dabigatran 150 mg versus genotype-guided AC would be >USD50,000 (and genotype-guided AC would be most cost-effective) when TTR in genotype-guided AC was >77% and utility value of warfarin was the same or higher than that of dabigatran.

Conclusions/significance: The likelihood of genotype-guided anticoagulation service to be accepted as cost-effective would increase if the quality of life on warfarin and dabigatran therapy are compatible and genotype-guided service achieves high TTR (>77%).

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / economics*
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / genetics
  • Benzimidazoles / economics*
  • Benzimidazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Dabigatran
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Stroke / genetics
  • Stroke / prevention & control*
  • Warfarin / economics*
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use*
  • beta-Alanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • beta-Alanine / economics
  • beta-Alanine / therapeutic use


  • Anticoagulants
  • Benzimidazoles
  • beta-Alanine
  • Warfarin
  • Dabigatran