Article Text

Cost-effectiveness and public health benefit of secondary cardiovascular disease prevention from improved adherence using a polypill in the UK
  1. Virginia Becerra1,
  2. Alfredo Gracia1,
  3. Kamal Desai2,
  4. Seye Abogunrin2,
  5. Sarah Brand3,
  6. Ruth Chapman2,
  7. Fernando García Alonso1,
  8. Valentín Fuster4,5,
  9. Ginés Sanz5
  1. 1Ferrer, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2Evidera, Hammersmith, London, UK
  3. 3Evidera, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  4. 4The Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  5. 5Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC), Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Ginés Sanz; ginessanzr{at}


Objective To evaluate the public health and economic benefits of adherence to a fixed-dose combination polypill for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular (CV) events in adults with a history of myocardial infarction (MI) in the UK.

Design Markov-model-based cost-effectiveness analysis, informed by systematic reviews, which identified efficacy, utilities and adherence data inputs.

Setting General practice in the UK.

Participants Patients with a mean age of 64.7 years, most of whom are men with a recent or non-recent diagnosis of MI and for whom secondary preventive medication is indicated and well tolerated.

Intervention Fixed-dose combination polypill (100 mg aspirin, 20 mg atorvastatin and 2.5, 5, or 10 mg ramipril) compared with multiple monotherapy.

Primary and secondary outcome measures CV events prevented per 1000 patients; cost per life-year gained; and cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained.

Results The model estimates that for each 10% increase in adherence, an additional 6.7% fatal and non-fatal CV events can be prevented. In the base case, over 10 years, the polypill would improve adherence by ∼20% and thereby prevent 47 of 323 (15%) fatal and non-fatal CV events per 1000 patients compared with multiple monotherapy, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of £8200 per QALY gained. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses for the base-case assumptions showed an 81.5% chance of the polypill being cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of £20 000 per QALY gained compared with multiple monotherapy. In scenario analyses that varied structural assumptions, ICERs ranged between cost saving and £21 430 per QALY gained.

Conclusions Assuming that some 450 000 adults are at risk of MI, a 10 percentage point uptake of the polypill could prevent 3260 CV events and 590 CV deaths over a decade.The polypill appears to be a cost-effective strategy to prevent fatal and non-fatal CV events in the UK.


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