Cost-effectiveness of self-managed versus physician-managed oral anticoagulation therapy

Regier, Dean A.; Sunderji, Rubina; Lynd, Larry D.; Gin, Kenneth; Marra, Carlo A.
June 2006
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;6/20/2006, Vol. 174 Issue 13, p1847
Academic Journal
Background: Patient self-management of long-term oral anticoagulation therapy is an effective strategy in a number of clinical situations, but it is currently not a funded option in the Canadian health care system. We sought to compare the incremental cost and health benefits of self-management with those of physician management from the perspective of the Canadian health care payer over a 5-year period. Methods: We developed a Bayesian Markov model comparing the costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) accrued to patients receiving oral anticoagulation therapy through self-management or physician management for atrial fibrillation or for a mechanical heart valve. Five health states were defined: no events, minor hemorrhagic events, major hemorrhagic events, thrombotic events and death. Data from published literature were used for transition probabilities. Canadian 2003 costs were used, and utility estimates were obtained from various published sources. Results: Self-management resulted in 3.50 fewer thrombotic events, 0.78 fewer major hemorrhagic events and 0.12 fewer deaths per 100 patients than physician management. The average discounted incremental cost of self-management over physician management was found to be $989 (95% confidence interval [CI] $310-$1655) per patient and the incremental QALYs gained was 0.07 (95% CI 0.06-0.08). The cost-effectiveness of self-management was $14 129 per QALY gained. There was a 95% chance that self-management would be cost-effective at a willingness to pay of $23 800 per QALY. Results were robust in probabilistic and deterministic sensitivity analyses. Interpretation: This model suggests that self-management is a cost-effective strategy for those receiving long-term oral anticoagulation therapy for atrial fibrillation or for a mechanical heart valve.


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