Using lower cost statins improves outcomes for normal cholesterol non-diabetic patients

Ronen Arbel, Dan Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The American College of Cardiology recommends considering initiation of cholesterol-lowering therapy in normal cholesterol adults aged 45–70, who are either diabetic or have a 10 year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk higher than 7.5%. Although this policy was shown to be cost-effective, the multi-billion dollar budget impact may limit the adoption, diffusion and overall clinical impact of this therapy. Objectives: We examined whether using a substantially lower cost statin (Simvastatin) in a much wider population, while accepting almost-as-good per-patient outcomes can provide better outcomes for the entire intended use population (IUP) under a pre-specified budget constraint. Methods: We built a model to compare the outcomes on the entire IUP, and compared branded Rosuvastatin to Simvastatin. Outcomes measured were major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE): cardiovascular death, stroke, myocardial infarction, and hospitalization for revascularization or unstable angina. Results: The branded Rosuvastatin alternative resulted in the prevention of 6,571 MACE compared to 311,698 MACE with Simvastatin, and 83,120 MACE with generic Rosuvastatin. Conclusions: Under budget constraints, using Simvastatin instead of branded Rosuvastatin resulted in a 47 fold increase of prevention of MACE for the entire IUP. These results should be considered while initiating statin therapy in this target population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-501
Number of pages7
JournalExpert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2017


  • Primary prevention
  • cardiovascular outcomes
  • cost of therapy
  • cost-effectiveness
  • statin therapy


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