Decision models for assessing the cost effectiveness of drug-eluting stents.
Percutaneous coronary intervention is an increasingly common treatment for many people with coronary disease. Randomised trials using antiproliferative, drug-eluting stents (DES) have shown important reductions in the need for repeat procedures after initial percutaneous coronary intervention. These trials indicate that the growing use of DES has the potential to create major clinical benefits for patients; however, in actual practice, the associated costs may cause financial crises for hospital systems. This paper reviews previously published DES economic decision models from both societal and hospital perspectives. From a social perspective, additional spending for new technologies may be acceptable if these technologies convincingly improve the lives of patients. The models reviewed suggest that DES incurs large costs to both society and hospitals, and currently offers uncertain clinical benefits. More research is recommended to identify high-risk patients who stand to gain significant health benefits from this therapy.
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