Comparison of cost-effectiveness of anticoagulation with dabigatran, rivaroxaban and apixaban in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation across countries

J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2014 May;37(4):507-23. doi: 10.1007/s11239-013-0989-6.


We did a cost-utility analysis for the new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) in the German population based on the quality-adjusted life years (QALY), total costs, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER). The aim of our investigation was to examine cost-utility for current German drug market costs and compared to other countries. Outcome data were taken from dabigatran's RE-LY, rivaroxaban's ROCKET AF, and apixaban's ARISTOTLE trials. A Markov decision model, the Monte Carlo simulation (MCS), and further sensitivity analyses were used to simulate comparisons between NOACs over a follow up period of 20 years. The main perspective used for the analyses is from a German public health care insurance perspective. The base-case analyses of a 65 years old person with a CHADS2 score >1 resulted in 7.56-7.64 QALYs gained for warfarin. NOACs added 0.04-0.19 QALYs. Total costs for warfarin ranged from 7622 to 9069<euro> and for NOACs from 19537 to 20048<euro>. The sensitivity analysis indicated that current German market costs for the NOACs exceed a willingness-to-pay threshold of (hypothetical) 50000<euro>/QALY in all treatment regimen. The MCS showed willingness-to-pay thresholds from 60500<euro>/QALY for apixaban to 278000<euro>/QALY for dabigatran 110 mg bid, with values for dabigatran 150 mg bid and rivaroxaban in between. In conclusion, from a German public health care insurance perspective current market costs are high in relation to the quality of life gained. These results from clinical studies (efficacy) remain to be confirmed under real life conditions (effectiveness).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants* / economics
  • Anticoagulants* / therapeutic use
  • Benzimidazoles* / economics
  • Benzimidazoles* / therapeutic use
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Dabigatran
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Econometric*
  • Morpholines* / economics
  • Morpholines* / therapeutic use
  • Pyrazoles* / economics
  • Pyrazoles* / therapeutic use
  • Pyridones* / economics
  • Pyridones* / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Thiophenes* / economics
  • Thiophenes* / therapeutic use
  • beta-Alanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • beta-Alanine / economics
  • beta-Alanine / therapeutic use


  • Anticoagulants
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Morpholines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyridones
  • Thiophenes
  • beta-Alanine
  • apixaban
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Dabigatran