Objectives: Our objectives were to investigate the cost effectiveness of apixaban, rivaroxaban, and dabigatran compared with coumarin derivatives for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation in a country with specialized anticoagulation clinics (the Netherlands) and in a country without these clinics (the UK).
Methods: A decision-analytic Markov model was used to analyse the cost effectiveness of apixaban, rivaroxaban, and dabigatran compared with coumarin derivatives in the Netherlands and the UK over a lifetime horizon.
Results: In the Netherlands, the use of rivaroxaban, apixaban, or dabigatran increased health by 0.166, 0.365, and 0.374 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) compared with coumarin derivatives, but also increased costs by <euro>5,681, <euro>4,754, and <euro>5,465, respectively. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were <euro>34,248, <euro>13,024, and <euro>14,626 per QALY gained. In the UK, health was increased by 0.302, 0.455, and 0.461 QALYs, and the incremental costs were similar for all three new oral anticoagulants (<euro>5,118-5,217). The ICERs varied from <euro>11,172 to 16,949 per QALY gained. In the Netherlands, apixaban had the highest chance (37 %) of being cost effective at a threshold of <euro>20,000; in the UK, this chance was 41 % for dabigatran. The quality of care, reflected in time in therapeutic range, had an important influence on the ICER.
Conclusions: Apixaban, rivaroxaban, and dabigatran are cost-effective alternatives to coumarin derivatives in the UK, while in the Netherlands, only apixaban and dabigatran could be considered cost effective. The cost effectiveness of the new oral anticoagulants is largely dependent on the setting and quality of local anticoagulant care facilities.