New U.K. recommendations good for stent makers

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The U.K. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended in a final draft guidance issued Feb. 1 the use of drug-eluting stents (DES) for patients who are at higher risk of needing further stents if conventional bare-metal stents were used initially.

DES are a cost-effective option for certain U.K. patients and should be recommended for use, Additionally, the price difference between the devices and bare-metal stents (BMS) is no more than $583.9 U.S. (£300), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance said.

NICE concluded the key benefit of DES is in reducing rates of revascularization in target lesions and vessels compared with BMS.

However, the guidance acknowledged that DES have not shown statistically significant benefits in mortality or acute heart attack rates over BMS.

“This decision to recommend the use of DES for patients was reached by a careful consideration of the evidence, comments received during consultation and further economic modeling. The independent Appraisal Committee took into account the risks and benefits of the different types of stents, and the significant additional costs involved in the use of DES compared to BMS,” Andrew Dillon, CEO of NICE, said.

NICE is the independent organization responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.