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Usefulness of Ezetimibe Versus Evolocumab as Add-On Therapy for Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Published:January 23, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.01.021
      Evolocumab and ezetimibe, were both proven to significantly reduce the incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), in type 2 diabetes patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol >70 mg/dl despite statin therapy. Providing evolocumab for all such patients may be a significant burden on healthcare systems. Therefore, we analyzed the treatment cost of ezetimibe versus evolocumab to prevent 1 MACE. We extracted the number needed to treat (NNT) with evolocumab or with ezetimibe for avoiding MACE from the published FOURIER and IMPROVE-IT trials respectively. Drug costs were based on 2018 US prices. Sensitivity and scenario analyses were performed to overcome variances in terms of population risk, efficacy of therapies, and costs. In FOURIER, the 1-year NNT for avoiding MACE with evolocumab was 104 (95% confidence intervals [CI] 66 to 235). In IMPROVE-IT, the 1-year NNT with ezetimibe was 124 (95% CI 73 to 288). The annual cost of evolocumab and ezetimibe is $6,540 and $88, respectively. Therefore, the cost to prevent 1 MACE in the FOURIER and IMPROVE-IT trials would have been $678,981 (95% CI $429,810 to $1,537,910,149) and $10,870 (95% CI $6,384 to $25,322), respectively. Ezetimibe was consistently a cost-saving strategy compared with evolocumab, in all analyses performed, except for the case where evolocumab price is significantly reduced and the branded ezetimibe is used. In conclusion, treatment with ezetimibe seems to be a major cost-saving strategy for preventing MACE in this patient population.
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