Circulation. 2023 Sep 6. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.122.063602. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The VICTORIA trial (Vericiguat Global Study in Subjects With Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction) demonstrated that, in patients with high-risk heart failure, vericiguat reduced the primary composite outcome of cardiovascular death or heart failure hospitalization relative to placebo. The hazard ratio for all-cause mortality was 0.95 (95% CI, 0.84-1.07). In a prespecified analysis, treatment effects varied substantially as a function of baseline NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide) levels, with survival benefit for vericiguat in the lower NT-proBNP quartiles (hazard ratio, 0.82 [95% CI, 0.69-0.97]) and no benefit in the highest NT-proBNP quartile (hazard ratio, 1.14 [95% CI, 0.95-1.38]). An economic analysis was a major secondary objective of the VICTORIA research program.
METHODS: Medical resource use data were collected for all VICTORIA patients (N=5050). Costs were estimated by applying externally derived US cost weights to resource use counts. Life expectancy was projected from patient-level empirical trial survival results with the use of age-based survival modeling methods. Quality-of-life adjustments were based on prospectively collected EQ-5D-based utilities. The primary outcome was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, comparing vericiguat with placebo, assessed from the US health care sector perspective over a lifetime horizon. Cost-effectiveness was estimated using the total VICTORIA cohort, both with and without interaction between treatment and baseline NT-proBNP.
RESULTS: Life expectancy modeling results varied according to whether the observed heterogeneity of treatment effect by baseline NT-proBNP values was incorporated into the modeling. Including the interaction term, the vericiguat arm had an estimated quality-adjusted life expectancy of 4.56 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) compared with 4.13 QALYs for placebo (incremental discounted QALY, 0.43). Without the treatment heterogeneity/interaction term, vericiguat had 4.50 QALYs compared with 4.33 QALYs for placebo (incremental discounted QALY, 0.17). Incremental discounted costs (vericiguat minus placebo) were $28 546 with the treatment interaction and $20 948 without it. Corresponding incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were $66 509 per QALY allowing for treatment heterogeneity and $124 512 without heterogeneity.
CONCLUSIONS: Vericiguat use in the VICTORIA trial met criteria for intermediate value, but the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio estimates were sensitive to whether the analysis accounted for observed NT-proBNP treatment effect heterogeneity. The cost-effectiveness of vericiguat was driven by the projected incremental life expectancy among patients in the lowest 3 quartiles of NT-proBNP.
REGISTRATION: URL: https://www.
CLINICALTRIALS: gov; Unique identifier: NCT02861534.