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UCLA study finds heart failure medications highly cost-effective
Date:3/28/2013

rgans. With the heart's diminishing function, fluid can build-up in the lungs so most patients also take a diuretic.

The team used an advanced statistical model to assess the specific incremental and cumulative health and cost benefit contributions of three medications compared with diuretics alone in the treatment of heart failure patients. The medications studied included angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, aldosterone antagonists, and beta blockers.

Researchers found that treatment with one or a combination of these medications was associated with lower costs and higher quality of life when compared to just receiving a diuretic alone. The greatest quality-adjusted life years gained for patients was achieved when all three guideline-directed medications were provided.

The team calculated different scenarios and found that the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of adding each medication was less than $1,500 per each quality-adjusted life year for patients. In some scenarios, the medications were actually cost-saving where heart failure patients lives were prolonged at lower costs to the health care system.

The study found that up to $14,000 could be spent over a lifetime on a heart failure disease management program to improve medication adherence and still be highly cost effective.

For the study, cost-effective interventions were defined as those providing good value with a cost of less than $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year, which is the general standard, according to Fonarow. Cost-saving interventions are those that not only extend life but also actually save money to the health care system. Such interventions are not only more effective, but are less costly.

Fonarow notes that the costs of not effectively taking these key medications would be higher due to increased hospitalizations and need for other interventions.

"Given the high healthcare value provided by these medical
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Contact: Rachel Champeau
rchampeau@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2270
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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