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Clinical and economic benefits of ramipril: an Australian analysis of the HOPE study

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Abstract Background: 

The Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) study has demonstrated that ramipril 10 mg/day for 5 years in an at-risk population results in clinically and statistically significant reductions in the occurrence of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction (MI), stroke and revascularization procedures. The likely impact of the intervention in Australia, in terms of the number of potential events avoided and the cost per life-year saved, has previously not been determined. Aims: 

To assess the clinical and economic impacts of the use of daily ramipril in the Australian at-risk popuĀ­lation from the perspective of the public health-care budget. Methods:

The clinical benefits were calculated from endpoints used in the trial, which were converted to the ‘number needed to treat’. These were then applied to the at-risk population, which was determined nationally from the relevant Australian statistics. The result of this calculation is the potential number of events avoided in Australia.

The economic benefits were established by undertaking an incremental cost-effectiveness analysis. The economic model considered the clinical benefits and the costs (and cost offsets) arising from ramipril 10 mg/day therapy for 5 years. Life-years saved was determined by calculating the difference in total years survived between the ramipril and control arms of the study. Net costs divided by life-years saved is the cost per life-year saved, and this is reported in Australian dollars as the incremental cost effectiveness. Results: 

The clinical benefits over a 5-year period were expressed as the number of potential events avoided and comprised approximately: 9188 strokes; 14 658 MI; 14 317 revascularization procedures; and 12 534 cardiovascular-related deaths, nationally. The incremental cost-effectiveness analysis showed the estimated cost per life-year saved to be $A17 214. Conclusion: 

The use of ramipril 10 mg/day over a 5-year period in the at-risk Australian population could prevent many thousands of cardiovascular events, including 12 534 cardiovascular-related deaths. The cost per life-year saved compares favourably to other health care interventions. (Intern Med J 2003; 33: 414−419)

Keywords: cardiovascular diseases; cost-benefit analysis; diabetes mellitus; primary prevention

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Aventis Pharma, and 2: Pretium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Publication date: September 1, 2003


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