Patient costs in anticoagulation management: a comparison of primary and secondary care

David Parry, Stirling Bryan, Ellen Murray, David Fitzmaurice

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20 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The demand for anticoagulation management is increasing. This has led to care being provided in non-hospital settings. While clinical studies have similarly demonstrated good clinical care in these settings, it is still unclear as to which alternative is the most efficient. AIM: To determine the costs borne by patients when attending an anticoagulation management clinic in either primary or secondary care and to use this information to consider the cost-effectiveness of anticoagulation management in primary and secondary care, both from the National Health Service and patient perspectives. DESIGN OF STUDY: Observational study comparing two cohorts of patients currently attending anticoagulation management clinics. SETTING: Four primary care clinics in Birmingham and one in Warwickshire, and the haematology clinics at the University of Birmingham Hospitals Trust and the City Hospital NHS Trust. METHOD: The survey of patients attending the clinics was used to ascertain patient costs. This information was then used in conjunction with the findings of a recent randomised controlled trial to establish cost-effectiveness. RESULTS: Patient costs were lower in primary care than in secondary care settings; the mean (standard deviation) costs per visit were Pound Sterling6.78 (Pound Sterling5.04) versus Pound Sterling14.58 (Pound Sterling9.08). While a previous cost-effectiveness analysis from a health sector perspective alone found a higher cost for primary care, the adoption of the societal perspective lead to a marked change in the result: a similar total cost per patient in both sectors. CONCLUSION: There are significantly higher costs borne by patients attending secondary care anticoagulation management clinics than similar patients attending primary care clinics. This study also demonstrates that the perspective adopted in an economic evaluation can influence the final result.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)972-976
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • primary care
  • secondary care
  • warfarin
  • cost-effectiveness analysis
  • anticoagulation


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