Usefulness of Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 Inhibitors for Primary Prevention of Heart Failure in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Am J Cardiol. 2021 Jul 1;150:65-68. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2021.03.040. Epub 2021 May 15.


The sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) empagliflozin, canagliflozin, and dapagliflozin reduce the risk of heart failure (HF) events in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) at high risk for HF. Differences in HF outcomes between SGLT2i were demonstrated in a recent-published meta-analysis. Nevertheless, comparative cost-effectiveness analyses of SGLT2i provided for this indication have not been published yet. Therefore, we aimed to provide a preceding economic comparison of the costs required for improving HF outcomes by these three SGLT2i. The primary outcome was the cost needed to treat (CNT) to prevent one event of hospitalization for HF or cardiovascular mortality. CNT is calculated by multiplying the annualized number needed to treat to prevent one event by the annual cost of therapy. Clinical outcome data were extracted from pre-specified cohorts of HF-naïve patients in the pivotal randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Costs of interventions were estimated as 75% of the US National Average Drug Acquisition Cost listing. Sensitivity analysis was performed to mitigate differences between the RCT's populations. We figured the CNT for the primary prevention of HF events in DM patients to be $542,328 ($409,044-$905,412) for empagliflozin, $2,347,488 ($1,066,208-∞) for canagliflozin and $2,128,374 ($1,204,740-$48,140,518) for dapagliflozin. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the cost benefit of empagliflozin. Our findings suggest that between the available SGLT2i, the cost of primary prevention of HF in patients with DM at high risk for HF is lowest with empagliflozin. These findings may help choose an SGLT2i until head-to-head RCTs, and comprehensive cost-effective analyses for this indication are available.

MeSH terms

  • Benzhydryl Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Canagliflozin / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Glucosides / therapeutic use
  • Heart Failure / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Prevention*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors / economics
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Glucosides
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors
  • Canagliflozin
  • dapagliflozin
  • empagliflozin