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WHI reports $37.1B economic return on combined hormone therapy clinical trial
Date:5/6/2014

SEATTLE Economic findings were released today on the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), estrogen plus progestin (E+P) trial. The WHI is one of the largest National Institutes of Health-funded studies ever conducted on women. Housed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, it is a 15-year, multimillion-dollar study established in 1991, involving more than 160,000 women nationwide, including some 3,500 in Washington.

The overall economic return from the WHI E+P trial indicates that changes in practice stemming from the trial provided a net economic return of $37.1 billion over the 10-year period since the main findings were published, providing a return of approximately $140 on every dollar invested in the trial.

The findings, published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, are the result of collaboration between WHI investigators and faculty at the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research. The researchers created a disease simulation model to evaluate clinical and economic outcomes for combined hormone therapy (cHT) eligible women since the initial publication of the E+P trial results in 2003.

The study first estimated clinical outcomes for women taking cHT following the study versus a counterfactual scenario where the E+P trial was not conducted and cHT use persisted at historical (pre-2003) trends. Based on the projected clinical outcomes, the study then calculated the net economic return of the trial, less the trial cost.

During the 10 years following publication of WHI E+P findings, the investigators estimated that 4.3 million fewer women used cHT. As a result there were 126,000 fewer breast cancer cases, 76,000 fewer cardiovascular events, 263,000 more osteoporotic fractures, and 15,000 more colorectal cancer cases compared to the no trial scenario. The observed reduction in cHT prescribing saved $49.5 billion in direct medical care costs. In addition, the net health yield for women
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Contact: Michael Nank
mnank@fredhutch.org
206-667-6906
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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