Shrive FM, Ghali WA, Lewis S, Donaldson C, Knudtson ML, Manns BJ. Moving beyond the cost per quality-adjusted life year: Modelling the budgetary impact and clinical outcomes associated with the use of sirolimus-eluting stents. Can J Cardiol 2005;21(9): 783-787.
Restenosis is a major limitation to the long-term success of percutaneous coronary intervention. Drug-eluting stents are the most recent technological advance in restenosis prevention. While they are effective, their use is associated with a significant incremental cost, and a recent economic evaluation performed by the authors suggested that their use is associated with a cost per quality-adjusted life year of $58,721. How should decision-makers react to this value, particularly given that the use of sirolimus-eluting stents appears more attractive in certain patient subgroups, such as those with complex coronary lesions? In the present paper, the authors explore an alternative method of presenting the results of the economic evaluation, rather than the usual cost per quality-adjusted life year rubric, in an attempt to assist decision-makers in deciding whether, and for whom, to fund sirolimus-eluting stents. Several issues that decision-makers and providers may wish to consider when making such funding decisions are discussed.