Simvastatin therapy for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has been shown to be safe and associated with minimal adverse effects, but it does not improve clinical outcomes. The aim of this research was to report on mortality and cost-effectiveness of simvastatin in patients with ARDS at 12 months.
This was a cost-utility analysis alongside a multicentre, double-blind, randomised controlled trial carried out in the UK and Ireland. Five hundred and forty intubated and mechanically ventilated patients with ARDS were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive once-daily simvastatin (at a dose of 80 mg) or identical placebo tablets enterally for up to 28 days.
Mortality was lower in the simvastatin group (31.8%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 26.1-37.5) compared to the placebo group (37.3%, 95% CI 31.6-43.0) at 12 months, although this was not significant. Simvastatin was associated with statistically significant quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gain (incremental QALYs 0.064, 95% CI 0.002-0.127) compared to placebo. Simvastatin was also less costly (incremental total costs -£3601, 95% CI -8061 to 859). At a willingness-to-pay threshold of £20,000 per QALY, the probability of simvastatin being cost-effective was 99%. Sensitivity analyses indicated that the results were robust to changes in methodological assumptions with the probability of cost-effectiveness never dropping below 90%.
Simvastatin was found to be cost-effective for the treatment of ARDS, being associated with both a significant QALY gain and a cost saving. There was no significant reduction in mortality at 12 months, TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN, 88244364. Registered 26 November 2010.
- Journal Article