Measuring the Benefits of Antihypertensive Treatment
Not only physicians and scientists, but also governmental agencies and health insurers are finding it important to use objective measurements of the benefits and cost-effectiveness of antihypertensive treatment. These outcomes can be classified as short-, intermediate-, and long-term. The short-term outcomes are most relevant to the practitioner and include such measures as BP control, laboratory changes, and quality of life. By contrast, the long-term outcomes, typically measured in randomized clinical trials, are of particular interest to policy makers and guidelines writers and focus on whether treatments affect survival and the incidence of major cardiovascular events. Intermediate outcomes, usually measurable within months of starting treatment, deal with such clinical surrogates as treatment-induced changes in left ventricular structure, arterial compliance, and renal function. No longer are the traditional short-term outcomes adequate to describe a new drug; hypertension specialists, formulary committees, health care economists, and even regulatory agencies now expect sponsors to plan studies that define a drug’s full range of outcomes. This chapter discusses some of the criteria for these outcome measures.
KeywordsAntihypertensive Therapy Hypertension Optimal Treatment Health Care Economist Hypertension Optimal Treatment Study Lower Target Blood Pressure
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