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Dates: 2002 - completed 2005
Funding: Medical Research Council
Collaborators: Magpie Trial Coordinating Centre
Information: Judit Simon

The Magpie Trial was a large international trial to evaluate the effects of magnesium sulphate compared to placebo when given to women with pre-eclampsia.

The trial results showed that magnesium sulphate halved the risk of eclampsia, and probably reduced the risk of maternal death. There did not appear to be substantive harmful effects to mother or baby in the short term.

The Magpie Trial was a large international trial to evaluate the effects of magnesium sulphate compared to placebo when given to women with pre-eclampsia. The trial results showed that magnesium sulphate halved the risk of eclampsia, and probably reduced the risk of maternal death. There did not appear to be substantive harmful effects to mother or baby in the short term. (Lancet 2002;359:1877-1890) The objective of the economic evaluation was to estimate the within-trial incremental costs, effects and cost-effectiveness of using magnesium sulphate in pre-eclampsia. The cost-effectiveness analysis showed that the incremental cost of preventing one case of eclampsia was $21,202 in high, $2473 in middle, and $456 in low income countries as measured by GNI. Reserving treatment for severe pre-eclampsia or reducing the purchase price in low income countries would substantially improve cost-effectiveness. Details of the methods and results of the economic analysis were published in 2006 (BJOG - An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2006;113: 144-151).

Publications

Simon, J, Gray, A, and Duley, L (2006). Cost-effectiveness of prophylactic magnesium sulphate for 9996 women with pre-eclampsia from 33 countries: Economic evaluation of the Magpie Trial. BJOG 113(2):144-51.