New York, NY, USA – Cardiovascular disease is among the top ten causes of death worldwide and the percentage of deaths attributable to this pathology in Latin America and the Caribbean is estimated at over 30%. Risk factors such as, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, tobacco use, physical inactivity, obesity, among others, are related with this disease. In Brazil, cardiovascular disease is responsible for 32% of total mortality and is the main cause of death in adults over 40 years of age. In Colombia, mortality rates due to events such as ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease are roughly 1.4 to 2 times those of the US. Due to their effectiveness in treating elevated cholesterol, the use of statins has increased over the years for prevention of cardiovascular events.
As described in the article, “Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Atorvastatin versus Rosuvastatin in Primary and Secondary Cardiovascular Prevention Populations in Brazil and Columbia,“ published in Value in Health Regional Issues, researchers from Optum Insight, CES University, and Pfizer assessed the costs and effectiveness of statins atorvastatin and rosuvastatin for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in Brazil and Colombia. The researchers found that the clinical benefits of rosuvastatin compared to atorvastatin were minimal in terms of Quality Adjusted Life Years – QALYs [years of life lived fully], years of life gained, or major cardiovascular events avoided; however rosuvastatin had higher cost. For primary prevention, it would be necessary to have a willingness to pay over US$700,000.00 per QALY in the Colombian case and between US$4,335.00 and $135,120.00 per QALY in the Brazilian case, to recommend rosuvastatin. Based on the results, the researchers concluded that the minimal difference of clinical benefits with rosuvastatin compared to atorvastatin in Brazil and Colombia, will not offset the higher treatment costs of rosuvastatin, and would cause ICER’s to skyrocket between both statins therapies.
Joaquin F. Mould, PhD, Global Health Economics & Outcomes Research Project Leader at Bayer Pharma AG in Deutschland, states, “To incorporate a new technology for the treatment of a particular disease requires a more cost-effective option that the alternatives that are currently available.”