Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Two fairly new medications for heart failure have become staples for those who receive Medicare benefits and are "cost-effective" options, an analysis published Monday in the journal JAMA Cardiology has found.
The study sought to evaluate national patterns of use for sacubitril/valsartan -- marketed as Entresto and manufactured by Novartis -- and ivabradine -- marketed as Corlanor and manufactured by Amgen -- and associated spending on the two drugs within Medicare Part D. Both drugs were approved for the treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015.
The authors analyzed figures from the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Event and Medicaid Utilization and Spending databases for 2016 and 2017. Overall, they found that the number of Medicare beneficiaries prescribed sacubitril/valsartan increased from 35,423 in 2016 to 90,606 in 2017, a 156 percent increase. The number of Medicare beneficiaries prescribed ivabradine increased from 15,856 to 23,213 over the same period, a 46 percent increase.
In all, in 2017, Medicare Part D spent $227 million and $7.3 million on sacubitril/valsartan and ivabradine, respectively, which equated to increases of 241 percent and 59 percent for each drug over 2016 spending. Still, annual Medicare per-beneficiary spending on sacubitril/valsartan and ivabradine was $2,512 and $2,400 -- well within what the authors describe as "spending thresholds that have been reported to be cost-effective."