Background: Updated treatment guidelines for atrial fibrillation (AF) have been released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK, and highlight a current shortfall in the prescription of anticoagulants to patients with AF for stroke prevention.
Objective: To design a budget impact model as a planning tool for UK Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) looking to budget for greater use of anticoagulants in the AF population.
Methods: An Excel® model was developed to estimate the five-year impact of gradually treating all eligible patients with AF who are currently not being prescribed anticoagulants, both in terms of the effect on key clinical outcomes (strokes, major bleeds and mortality) and the associated financial impact.
Results: For a population of 251,693 (average CCG size) with an estimated 2626 prevalent patients and an additional 546 incident cases annually, the model estimated that increasing the proportion of the eligible AF patient population receiving anticoagulation by a fraction would require an additional budget of GBP139,961 in Year 1 to treat an additional 314 patients. This would rise to GBP1,004,900 in Year 5 to treat an additional 2242 patients, with all eligible patients treated by this year. The price year was 2014. Over the 5-year timeframe, this could lead to the prevention of 24 strokes and 29 deaths, with an increase of 31 major bleeds.
Conclusions: The clinical benefits of appropriate anticoagulation are widely recognised; however, full implementation can be difficult and costly. Therefore, the development of models can support the planning process by facilitating discussion among stakeholders on how best they can reach full implementation. The model is flexible and can be adapted to suit different payers.