Background: In the EPIC trial, c7E3 Fab, an antiplatelet IIb/ IIIa receptor antibody, reduced 30-day ischemic end points after high-risk coronary angioplasty by 35% and 6-month ischemic events by 23% but increased in-hospital bleeding episodes.
Methods and results: Of the 2099 patients randomized in EPIC, data were collected on 2038 (97%) for prospective hospital cost and major resources. Physician fees were estimated from the Medicare Fee Schedule. Regression analysis was used to examine the economic tradeoff between reduced ischemic events and increased major bleeding during the initial hospitalization. A potential cost savings of $622 per patient during the initial hospitalization from reduced acute ischemic events with c7E3 Fab was offset by an equivalent rise ($521) in costs as the result of an increase in bleeding episodes. Baseline medical costs for the bolus and infusion c7E3 Fab arm averaged $13,577 (exclusive of drug cost) compared with $13,434 for placebo (P = .42). During the 6-month follow-up, c7E3 Fab decreased repeat hospitalization rates by 23% (P = .004) and repeat revascularization by 22% (P = .04), producing a mean $1270 savings per patient (exclusive of drug cost) (P = .018). With a cost of $1407 for the bolus and infusion c7E3 Fab regimen, the cumulative net 6-month cost to switch from standard care to routine c7E3 Fab averaged $293 per patient.
Conclusions: In high-risk coronary angioplasty, aggressive platelet inhibition with c7E3 Fab, by significantly reducing ischemic events and repeat revascularization, recoups most of the cost of therapy and has the potential to pay for itself.