Cost-effectiveness analysis of simvastatin and lovastatin/extended- release niacin to achieve LDL and HDL goal using NHANES data.

Edward P. Armstrong, Woodie M. Zachry, Daniel C. Malone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The Third Report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults, Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) encouraged reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels for a greater number of patients and reemphasized the benefits of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. The purpose of this study was to compare 2 regimens achieving simultaneous LDL and HDL goals. METHODS: A decision-analytic model compared the cost-effectiveness of simvastatin and lovastatin/extended-release niacin. The perspective of the analysis was that of a health system. Product labeling was used to determine changes in cholesterol concentrations and frequencies of clinically important adverse events. The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) adult data were used for baseline cholesterol levels. Each product was titrated to achieve LDL and HDL goals unless an adverse effect occurred. Direct medical costs were determined for each treatment to determine cost-effectiveness. RESULTS: For both the 130 mg/dL and 100 mg/dL LDL goal analyses (and HDL e40 mg/dL), lovastatin/extended-release niacin had higher success rates and lower estimated direct-medical costs than simvastatin. Simvastatin had the highest success rate in achieving LDL level <160 mg/dL and HDL e40 mg/dL; however, its estimated direct-medical cost was approximately twice that of lovastatin/extended-release niacin (665 US dollars versus 333 US dollars). CONCLUSION: For the LDL goals <130 mg/dL and <100 mg/dL (and HDL e40 mg/dL) required of the majority of U.S. residents, lovastatin/extended-release niacin was both more successful and less costly than simvastatin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of managed care pharmacy : JMCP
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy


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