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ACE drugs economic for artery disease

Treating patients with stable coronary artery disease with ACE inhibitors would be cost-effective in the UK, an analysis of a major European trial reveals.

Use of the drugs in these patients would not only reduce cardiovascular events but also the cost of the treating them, the economic analysis of the EUROPA trial found.

Adopting a policy of treating stable coronary artery disease with perindopril would cost less than the NICE outer cut-off of £30,000 per quality-adjusted life year gained for 97 per cent of patients.

The study, published online in Heart and previously reported by Pulse, was based on the finding that perindopril cut the risk of a cardiovascular event by nearly one-fifth.

Study leader Professor Andrew Briggs, professor of public health and health policy at the University of Glasgow, said overall, use of perindopril added costs to the health care system, but would improve survival and quality of life 'because of the reduced risk of cardiovascular events'.

He added that for GPs, 'further consideration is needed regarding how those patients for whom treatment is most cost-effective would be identified in routine clinical practice'.

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