Cost-effectiveness in Italy of preventive treatment with ramipril in patients at high risk of cardiovascular events

Stefano Capri, Stefano Perlini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted in Italy of preventive treatment with ramipril (an angiotensin converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitor) compared to no treatment in patients at high risk of cardiovascular death. The analysis was based on data extracted from the HOPE trial. Methods: The current life table method was used in order to model a lifetime time horizon for outcomes and costs. The cohorts used were 1000 subjects on ramipril, and 1000 subjects on placebo enrolled in the HOPE trial. Kaplan-Meier curves at 5 years of the clinical study were fitted using an exponential model over a lifetime horizon, the outcome variables being myocardial infarction, stroke, revascularization and death. Total direct medical costs have been considered from a third-party payer's perspective - the Italian National Health Service. Resources involved in each event/ activity were estimated using the modified Delphi technique with a panel of six clinicians. Types of resources reported included drug therapies, laboratory and imaging tests, physician visits, outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation, as well as medical and surgical hospital admissions. The incremental cost per life year gained was the main measure of the analysis. Results: ICER (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio) decreases with the length of the treatment period. After the first year the ICER is €55 062 and subsequently decreases to about € 12 770 at 5 years, € 5945 at 10 years and €3726 at 20 years. The two ways sensitivity analysis showed that at 5 years ICERs range from a saving of €4059 to a cost of €22 929 (at 20 years they are €1814 and €4434), mainly depending on the cost of drug and cost of events. Previous analyses in other countries based on the HOPE study obtained ICER values which are comparable with our results, when taking into account the different cost structure of the health care systems. Conclusions: On the basis of these results, the use of ramipril is likely to represent an efficient use of public health expenditure in the Italian healthcare system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-921
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Medical Research and Opinion
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • Ace inhibitor
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Costs
  • Ramipril

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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