Economic evaluation of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) versus vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Rini Noviyani, Sitaporn Youngkong, Surakit Nathisuwan, Bhavani Shankara Bagepally, Usa Chaikledkaew, Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk, Gareth McKay, Piyamitr Sritara, John Attia, Ammarin Thakkinstian

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To assess cost-effectiveness of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) compared with vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF) by pooling incremental net benefits (INBs).

DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

SETTING: We searched PubMed, Scopus and Centre for Evaluation of Value and Risks in Health Registry from inception to December 2019.

PARTICIPANTS: Patients with AF.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The INB was defined as a difference of incremental effectiveness multiplied by willing to pay threshold minus the incremental cost; a positive INB indicated favour treatment. These INBs were pooled (stratified by level of country income, perspective, time-horizon, model types) with a random-effects model if heterogeneity existed, otherwise a fixed effects model was applied. Heterogeneity was assessed using Q test and I2 statistic. Risk of bias was assessed using the economic evaluations bias (ECOBIAS) checklist.

RESULTS: A total of 100 eligible economic evaluation studies (224 comparisons) were included. For high-income countries (HICs) from a third-party payer (TPP) perspective, the pooled INBs for DOAC versus VKA pairs were significantly cost-effective with INBs (95% CI) of $6632 ($2961.67 to $10 303.72; I2=59.9%), $6353.24 ($4076.03 to $8630.45; I2=0%), $7664.58 ($2979.79 to $12 349.37; I2=0%) and $8573.07 ($1877.05 to $15 269.09; I2=0%) for dabigatran, apixaban, rivaroxaban and edoxaban relative to VKA, respectively but only dabigatran was significantly cost-effective from societal perspective (SP) with an INB of $11 746.96 ($2429.34 to $21 064.59; I2=52.4%). The pooled INBs of all comparisons for upper-middle income countries (UMICs) were not significantly cost-effective. The ECOBIAS checklist indicated that risk of bias was mostly low for most items with the exception of five items which should be less influenced on pooling INBs.

CONCLUSIONS: Our meta-analysis provides comprehensive economic evidence that allows policy makers to generalise cost-effectiveness data to their local context. All DOACs may be cost-effective compared with VKA in HICs with TPP perspective. The pooling results produced moderate to high heterogeneity particularly in UMICs. Further studies are required to inform UMICs with SP.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ evidence-based medicine
Early online date11 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 11 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.

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