Elevated cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Treatment strategies promoting the associated health benefits from a reduction in elevated cholesterol levels have been outlined in guidelines published by the National Cholesterol Education Program. Clinicians and researchers have also examined the economic benefits associated with reducing elevated cholesterol levels.Most of these studies have employed traditional pharmacoeconomic techniques like cost-effectiveness analysis. Results from these studies indicated that certain types of therapy interventions (such as the use of cholesterol-lowering pharmaceutical agents) are cost effective. However, the majority of these studies are clinically driven and rely heavily on cost-outcome ratios as decision variables. This traditional approach to pharmacoeconomic evaluation is starting to be questioned by managed care organisations in the US. These organisations are increasingly interested in assessing the global (or health systems-based) impact associated with the introduction of a therapy intervention (such as cholesterol lowering agents). Subsequently, there is a need for pharmacoeconomic studies to provide a health systems-based view to assess a range of competing cholesterol-lowering treatment options.
Kortt, MA, Armstrong, EP 1998, 'Cholesterol-lowering therapy interventions: a pharmacoeconomic assessment', Disease Management and Health Outcomes, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 193-203.