Restoring Mortality Data in the FOURIER Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial of Evolocumab in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease: A Reanalysis Based on Regulatory Data

Juan Erviti et al.

The FOURIER trial showed a bene t of the PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab over placebo with respect to cardiovascular outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease. However, we observed some inconsistencies between the information in the Clinical Study Report (CSR) and that in the 2017 primary trial results publication. We aimed to restore the mortality data in the FOURIER trial based on the information contained in the death narratives in the CSR.

… When comparing the CSR information with the 2017 primary results publication, we found 11 more deaths from myocardial infarction in the evolocumab group (36 vs 25) and 3 less deaths in the placebo group (27 vs 30, respectively). In the CSR, the number of deaths due to cardiac failure in the evolocumab group was almost double those in the placebo group (31 vs 16). While cardiac and vascular deaths were not assessed as separate outcomes in the original trial analysis, after readjudication, we
noted that cardiac deaths were numerically, but non- signicicantly, higher in the evolocumab group (113) than in the placebo group (88; relative risk (RR) 1.28, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.69, p=0.078), whereas non-cardiac vascular deaths were similar between groups (37 in each; RR
1.00, 95% CI 0.63 to 1.58, p=0.999).

… After readjudication, deaths of cardiac origin were numerically higher in the evolocumab group than in the placebo group in the FOURIER trial, suggesting possible cardiac harm. At the time the trial was terminated early, a non-significantly higher risk of cardiovascular mortality was observed with evolocumab, which was numerically greater in our readjudication. A complete restoration of the FOURIER trial data is required. In the meantime, clinicians should be sceptical about prescribing evolocumab for patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

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