Cost-effectiveness of statins for primary prevention in patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the Netherlands

Folgerdiena M. de Vries*, Petra Denig, Sipke T. Visser, Eelko Hak, Maarten J. Postma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Statins are lipid-lowering drugs that reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes.

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to determine whether statin treatment for primary prevention in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes is cost-effective, taking nonadherence, baseline risk, and age into account.

METHODS: A cost-effectiveness analysis was performed by using a Markov model with a time horizon of 10 years. The baseline 10-year cardiovascular risk was estimated in a Dutch population of primary prevention patients with newly diagnosed diabetes from the Groningen Initiative to Analyse Type 2 Diabetes Treatment (GIANTT) database, using the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study risk engine. Statin adherence was measured as pill days covered in the pharmacy research database. Cost-effectiveness was measured in costs per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) from the health care payers' perspective.

RESULTS: For an average patient aged 60 years, the base case, statin treatment was highly cost-effective at €2245 per QALY. Favorable cost-effectiveness was robust in sensitivity analysis. Differences in age and 10-year cardiovascular risk showed large differences in cost-effectiveness from almost €100,000 per QALY to almost being cost saving. Treating all patients younger than 45 years at diabetes diagnosis was not cost-effective (weighted cost-effectiveness of almost €60,000 per QALY).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the nonadherence levels observed in actual practice, statin treatment is cost-effective for primary prevention in patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Because of large differences in cost-effectiveness according to different risk and age groups, the efficiency of the treatment could be increased by targeting patients with relatively higher cardiovascular risk and higher ages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalValue in Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2014


  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Male
  • Markov Chains
  • Medication Adherence
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Primary Prevention
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Risk Factors

Cite this