A rapid evidence assessment of bleed-related healthcare resource utilization in publications reporting the use of direct oral anticoagulants for non-valvular atrial fibrillation

<p><b>Objective</b>: Non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), a common cardiac arrhythmia, is associated with high morbidity and carries a substantial economic burden. Historically, vitamin K antagonists (VKAs; e.g. warfarin) have been used for therapy of NVAF, but recently several direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have been approved for prevention of stroke in patients with NVAF. This review summarizes the real-world evidence (RWE) for healthcare resource utilization (HRU) in patients receiving oral anticoagulants (VKAs and/or DOACs) for therapy of NVAF.</p> <p><b>Methods</b>: A PRISMA-compliant literature search assessed Medline<sup>®</sup> and Embase<sup>®</sup> databases from 1 January 2011 to 4 May 2017, and the National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2015. Publications were included if they reported observational data from real-world use of one or more anticoagulant therapies. Outcomes of interest included hospitalizations, length of stay (LOS), mortality and costs.</p> <p><b>Results</b>: Twenty-eight publications were included. Apixaban and dabigatran were associated with fewer bleed-related hospitalizations than warfarin. Bleed-related LOS were generally longer for warfarin than for DOACs. Bleed-related treatment costs were lower for patients receiving apixaban or receiving dabigatran than patients receiving rivaroxaban or receiving warfarin. Bleed-related mortality in patients receiving oral anticoagulation for treatment of NVAF were low across all DOACs and warfarin.</p> <p><b>Conclusions</b>: The limited available evidence for HRU burden among patients receiving oral anticoagulation for NVAF suggests that DOACs (particularly apixaban and dabigatran) offer some degree of benefit in terms of HRU outcomes, compared with warfarin. Further work is required to understand HRU outcomes in patients receiving DOACs.</p>