Overall Effectiveness of Rivaroxaban in Patients with Pulmonary Embolism

Li Wang, Onur Baser, Phil Wells, W. Frank Peacock, Craig I. Coleman, Gregory J. Fermann, Jeff Schein, Concetta Crivera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose Due to limited evidence on the impact of rivaroxaban in clinical practice, we compared the effectiveness of rivaroxaban versus standard of care (SOC) among patients in the Veterans Health Administration. Methods Adult patients with continuous enrollment in a health plan with medical and pharmacy benefits for ≥12 months before and ≥3 months after an inpatient diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (PE) between October 1, 2011, and June 30, 2015, and a prescription claim for an anticoagulant during the index hospitalization, were included. SOC drugs were low-molecular-weight heparin, unfractionated heparin, and warfarin. Propensity score matching was used in comparing PE-related outcomes (recurrent venous thromboembolism, major bleeding, and death), hospital-acquired complications (HACs), health care resource utilization, and costs among patients receiving SOC versus rivaroxaban. We defined net clinical benefit as 1 minus the combined rate of PE-related outcomes and HACs. Findings Among 6746 patients with PE, 208 received rivaroxaban, 4641 received SOC and 1897 received other anticoagulants. Most (95%) were male; 22% were black. After 1:3 propensity score matching, there were 203 rivaroxaban and 609 SOC patients. During the 90-day follow-up, rivaroxaban users had similar rates of PE-related outcomes, but fewer had experienced at least 1 HAC (10.3% vs 15.9%; P = 0.0506), resulting in better net clinical benefit (82.8% vs 71.1%; P = 0.001). Rivaroxaban users had fewer outpatient visits per patient (17.0 vs 19.9; P = 0.0005), a similar rehospitalization rate (0.2 vs 0.3; P = 0.084), lesser inpatient costs (US $3501 vs $6189; P < 0.0001), lesser inpatient costs and lesser total costs ($10,545 vs $14,192; P = 0.0002). When the sample was limited to patients with low-risk PE, we found similar patterns. Implications Patients with PE prescribed rivaroxaban had similar PE-related outcomes, but fewer HACs and lesser total costs, than did patients on SOC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1426-1436.e2
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • cost burden
  • hospital-acquired complications
  • pulmonary embolism
  • rivaroxaban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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