Deakin University

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The cost-effectiveness of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids – the Australian healthcare perspective

journal contribution
posted on 2019-09-01, 00:00 authored by Lan GaoLan Gao, Marj MoodieMarj Moodie, S C Li
Objectives: To examine the cost-effectiveness of a triglyceride lowering medication–icosapent ethyl added on to statin from Australian healthcare system perspective. Methods: A Markov-model was developed using data from the pivotal trial of icosapent ethyl in a secondary prevention population. Probabilities of CVD events were derived and extrapolated from the published Kaplan-Meier curve using a valid algorithm. Management cost of CVD, health-related quality of life, and background non-CVD mortality were extracted from publicly available sources. Acquisition cost of icosapent ethyl from the United States was used in the current analysis. Australian patients with histories of CVD were modelled for a 25 year time horizon and costs and benefits were discounted. Sensitivity analyses (SA) were undertaken. Value of perfect information (VPI) was quantified. Results: Treatment with icosapent ethyl was associated with both higher costs and benefits (i.e. quality-adjusted life year [QALY] and life year [LY]), resulting in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of AUD59,036/QALY or AUD54,358/LY. Using the often quoted willingness-to-pay (WTP)/QALY of AUD50,000/QALY, icosapent ethyl was not considered cost-effective. SA showed that time horizon, drug cost, and discount rate were the key drivers of the ICER. Total monetary VPI for icosapent ethyl was over AUD15 million over 5 years. Conclusions: Patients with established CVD in whom level of triglycerides is high would benefit from the treatment using icosapent ethyl, however, it is not a cost-effective from an Australian healthcare system perspective. The government may consider subsidising this medication given the clinical need but at a discounted acquisition cost.



European journal of internal medicine




70 - 76




Amsterdam, The Netherlands







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019, Elsevier B.V. on behalf of European Federation of Internal Medicine