Cost-effectiveness of enoxaparin versus aspirin in the prevention of venous thromboembolism after total hip or knee arthroplasty: an analysis from the CRISTAL cluster-randomized trial. Bone Joint J. 2024 Jun 1;106-B(6):589-595. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.106B6.BJJ-2023-0783.R2. (Original study)

AIMS: The aim of this study was to evaluate the healthcare costs and benefits of enoxaparin compared to aspirin in the prevention of symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE) after total hip arthroplasty (THA) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA) using data from the CRISTAL trial.

METHODS: This trial-based economic analysis reports value for money as incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained in 2022 Australian dollars, compared to a single threshold value of AUD$70,000 per QALY. Event costs were estimated based on occurrence of VTEs and bleeds, and on published guidelines for treatment. Unit costs were taken from Australian sources. QALYs were estimated using CRISTAL six-month follow-up data. Sensitivity analyses are presented that vary the cost of VTE treatment, and extend the analyses to two years.

RESULTS: The CRISTAL trial found that enoxaparin was more effective than aspirin in preventing symptomatic VTE within 90 days of THA or TKA (risk difference 1.97% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.54% to 3.41%; p = 0.007)). The additional cost after a THA or TKA was AUD$83 (95% CI 68 to 97) for enoxaparin, and enoxaparin resulted in an additional 0.002 QALYs (95% CI -0.002 to 0.005). Incremental cost per QALY gained was AUD$50,567 (95% CI 15,513, dominated) for enoxaparin. We can be 60% confident that the incremental cost per QALY does not exceed the willingness-to-pay threshold of AUD$70,000. Increasing the cost of VTE treatment and extension of costs and consequences to two years suggested greater confidence that enoxaparin is good value for money (70% and 63% confidence, respectively).

CONCLUSION: This analysis provides strong evidence that enoxaparin thromboprophylaxis following THA or TKA reduced VTEs, but weak evidence of net economic benefits over aspirin. If the value of avoiding VTEs is high, and there is a strong likelihood of VTE-related health impairments, we can be more confident that enoxaparin is cost-effective compared to aspirin.

Discipline Area Score
Physician 5 / 7
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