Cost-Effectiveness of Left Atrial Appendage Closure With the WATCHMAN Device Compared With Warfarin or Non–Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants for Secondary Prevention in Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation
Background and Purpose—Once a patient with atrial fibrillation experiences an embolic event, the risk of a recurrent event increases 2.6-fold. New treatments have emerged as viable treatment alternatives to warfarin for stroke risk reduction in secondary prevention populations. This analysis sought to assess the cost-effectiveness of left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) compared with warfarin and the non–vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants dabigatran 150 mg, apixaban and rivaroxaban in the prevention of stroke in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation patients with a prior stroke or transient ischemic attack.
Methods—A Markov model was constructed using data from the secondary prevention subgroup analyses of the non–vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant and LAAC pivotal trials. Costs were from 2016 US Medicare reimbursement rates and the literature. The cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted from a US Medicare perspective over a lifetime (20 years) horizon. The model was populated with a cohort of 10 000 patients aged 70 years with a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 7 (annual stroke risk=9.60%) and HAS-BLED score of 3 (annual bleeding risk=3.74%).
Results—LAAC achieved cost-effectiveness relative to dabigatran at year 5 and warfarin and apixaban at year 6. At 10 years, LAAC had more quality-adjusted life years (4.986 versus 4.769, 4.869, 4.888, and 4.810) and lower costs ($42 616 versus $53 770, $58 774, $55 656, and $58 655) than warfarin, dabigatran, apixaban, and rivaroxaban, respectively, making LAAC the dominant (more effective and less costly) stroke risk reduction strategy. LAAC remained the dominant strategy over the lifetime analysis.
Conclusions—Upfront procedure costs initially make LAAC higher cost than warfarin and the non–vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants, but within 10 years, LAAC delivers more quality-adjusted life years and has lower total costs, making LAAC the most cost-effective treatment strategy for secondary prevention of stroke in atrial fibrillation.
- atrial fibrillation
- cost-effectiveness analysis
- left atrial appendage closure
- Received July 20, 2017.
- Revision received February 1, 2018.
- Accepted February 15, 2018.
- © 2018 The Authors.
Stroke is published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited, the use is noncommercial, and no modifications or adaptations are made.