Antiplatelet drug found to reduce risk of recurrent heart attacks and stroke is cost-effective

ORLANDO -- The antiplatelet medicine clopidogrel is not only effective in reducing the risk of recurrent heart attack and stroke, it is also extremely cost-effective, according to data presented today by researchers from Emory University at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions.

"We have three separate investigations showing uniform results in both the short and long-term use of clopidogrel. Specifically, the use of clopidogrel in addition to aspirin produces a significant risk reduction in recurrent heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death," says William Weintraub, M.D. FACC, Director, Emory Center for Outcomes Research in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, who presented the data. "The study findings and the cost-effectiveness data suggest that at least one year of therapy with clopidogrel is an attractive value. In fact, we believe it should be the standard of care for this patient population."

The Emory University investigators analyzed the drug's cost-effectiveness ratio in two major clinical studies -- the CURE (Clopidogrel in Unstable Angina to Prevent Recurrent Events) trial and the CREDO (Clopidogrel for the Reduction of Events During Observation) trial -- as well as a substudy of CURE, called PCI-CURE . Cost-effectiveness ratio is the incremental cost of using an intervention to obtain a unit of effectiveness (such as dollars per life-year gained) compared to another treatment or no treatment.

Based on CURE, the Emory researchers found that the cost-effectiveness ratio was $6,173 per life year gained. PCI-CURE, which evaluated people who received clopidogrel for up to one year after having an angioplasty or stent, demonstrated a cost-effectiveness ratio of $5,910 per life year gained. In CREDO, patients were given a dose of clopidogrel before having an angioplasty or stenting procedures and continued on clopidogrel therapy for up to one year. The cost-effect

Contact: Sherry Baker
Emory University Health Sciences Center

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