Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Economic consequences of postinfarction prophylaxis with beta blockers: cost effectiveness of metoprolol.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 07 February 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:339
  1. G Olsson,
  2. L A Levin,
  3. N Rehnqvist


    Treatment with certain beta adrenoceptor blocking agents after myocardial infarction reduces mortality and the incidence of reinfarction. Data from a randomised placebo controlled study of the beta 1 selective blocker metoprolol given as secondary prophylaxis were therefore analysed for the possible cost effectiveness of extending this treatment to the general population of patients with myocardial infarction. Metoprolol 100 mg twice daily and matching placebo were given to 154 and 147 patients, respectively, for three years. During this period drug costs for the beta blocker, digitalis, and diuretics were analysed as well as costs of readmission for cardiac problems and indirect costs arising from sick leave or early retirement. Active treatment with metoprolol significantly reduced costs of readmission as well as indirect costs. The net effect per patient over the three years was a reduction of roughly kr 19,000 (1930 pounds). These results suggest that beta blocker treatment given as secondary prophylaxis after myocardial infarction is highly cost effective.