Torasemide: A Pharmacoeconomic Review of its Use in Chronic Heart Failure
Greg L. Plosker
Torasemide is a loop diuretic used for the treatment of hypertension and for oedema in chronic heart failure (CHF), renal failure and cirrhosis. The efficacy of torasemide in reducing salt and water retention in CHF has been established in double-blind comparative studies against furosemide. Torasemide has been shown to be at least as effective as furosemide in terms of total volume of urine excreted and also has a longer duration of action. The efficacy of torasemide (in terms of improved CHF symptoms and reduced pulmonary congestion, oedema and bodyweight) has been shown in randomised controlled trials and confirmed in large postmarketing studies. In addition, data from postmarketing studies have shown that patients receiving torasemide had significantly reduced hospital admission rates compared with patients receiving furosemide. Pharmacoeconomic assessments of torasemide have focused on its effect in reducing hospitalisation. Hospitalisation costs due to CHF decreased by 86% during the 11.2-month period of torasemide treatment, compared with the 6-month period prior to treatment, in a US retrospective study assessing medical and pharmacy claims data. Overall, average monthly costs for patients decreased by 56.6% after 5.1 months (from $US1897.28 to $US823.70 per patient per month; PPPM), and by 76% after 11.2 months (from $US1944.76 to $US470.76 PPPM) of torasemide treatment. In the furosemide group, average monthly costs for patients increased moderately from $US227.28 to $US261.18 PPPM after 12 months. Direct comparison of the torasemide and furosemide study groups was not possible because the group receiving torasemide had much higher healthcare resource use at baseline. Compared with furosemide, torasemide was associated with reduced rates of hospital admissions for CHF and/or cardiovascular causes in 3 studies, a retrospective analysis conducted in Germany, a prospective US study of patients enrolled from hospital admissions and a decision-analysis model. As a result, the direct costs of treatment for CHF or cardiovascular diseases for patients treated with torasemide were less than those with furosemide. However, in the US study, there was no statistically significant difference in hospital admissions for all causes and/or in overall direct medical costs, although the study was not powered to show this. In another US study of managed care patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II or III CHF, no difference in clinical or economic outcomes was observed between patients taking torasemide or furosemide; despite the higher acquisition costs for torasemide, total costs were similar for both groups. Torasemide was found to be more cost effective than furosemide in terms of cost per patient with improved functional (NYHA) class of CHF severity in a retrospective German analysis, although this measure is not ideal. This study also evaluated indirect costs (for loss of productivity of employed patients) and results suggest torasemide has a favourable effect in reducing days off work compared with furosemide, although the population of employed patients in the study was very small. Torasemide has been shown to improve some measures of quality of life in 2 studies. It was associated with higher quality-of-life scores than furosemide in a 6-month study, but the differences were only significant at month 4. In another study, torasemide significantly improved fatigue, but full study details are yet to be published. Conclusions: Despite the higher acquisition cost of torasemide over furosemide, pharmacoeconomic analyses have shown that torasemide is likely to reduce overall treatment costs of CHF by reducing hospital admissions and readmissions. Torasemide has generally shown clinical and economic advantages over furosemide, although more long term data are needed to confirm these results and to further investigate effects on quality of life. There are limitations to the currently available pharmacoeconomic data, but present data support the use of torasemide as a first-line option for diuretic therapy in patients with CHF presenting with oedema and especially in those patients not achieving relief of symptoms with furosemide.
Cost analysis, Drug evaluations, Furosemide, Heart failure, Pharmacoeconomics, Torasemide
In order to set up a list of libraries that you have access to,
you must first login
or sign up.
Then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page by
clicking on your user name at the top right of any screen.