Long-term cost-effectiveness of providing full coverage for preventive medications after myocardial infarction

Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2015 May;8(3):252-9. doi: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.114.001330. Epub 2015 May 5.


Background: Adherence to drugs that are prescribed after myocardial infarction remains suboptimal. Although eliminating patient cost sharing for secondary prevention increases adherence and reduces rates of major cardiovascular events, the long-term clinical and economic implications of this approach have not been adequately evaluated.

Methods and results: We developed a Markov model simulating a hypothetical cohort of commercially insured patients who were discharged from the hospital after myocardial infarction. Patients received β-blockers, renin-angiotensin system antagonists, and statins without cost sharing (full coverage) or at the current level of insurance coverage (usual coverage). Model inputs were extracted from the Post Myocardial Infarction Free Rx Event and Economic Evaluation trial and other published literature. The main outcome was an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio as measured by cost per quality-adjusted life year gained. Patients receiving usual coverage lived an average of 9.46 quality-adjusted life years after their event and incurred costs of $171,412. Patients receiving full coverage lived an average of 9.60 quality-adjusted life years and incurred costs of $167,401. Compared with usual coverage, full coverage would result in greater quality-adjusted survival (0.14 quality-adjusted life years) and less resource use ($4011) per patient. Our results were sensitive to alterations in the risk reduction for post-myocardial infarction events from full coverage.

Conclusions: Providing full prescription drug coverage for evidence-based pharmacotherapy to commercially insured post-myocardial infarction patients has the potential to improve health outcomes and save money from the societal perspective over the long-term.

Clinical trial registration information: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00566774.

Keywords: cost-benefit analysis; drug; epidemiology; myocardial infarction; prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Agents / economics*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Markov Chains
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Economic
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control*
  • Secondary Prevention / economics*


  • Cardiovascular Agents

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00566774