How bureaucrats control the device market

The market for drug-carrying stents, used to treat closing arteries, is going to take an enormous hit. The reason is a report to Britain's NHS which concludes the country should stop using them.

Stents, from SeekingAlphaFew doubt that government bureaucrats have enormous impact on the market for medical devices.

And they tend to travel in herds.

For instance, here's a prediction. The market for drug-carrying stents, used to treat closing arteries, is going to take an enormous hit.

The reason is a report to Britain's NHS which concludes the country should stop using them.

The report is filled with calculations that would stun an American, like a Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY). While a drug-stent cuts the risk of a second operation by 65%, the report concludes that it still costs $350,000 per QALY, so it's not worth the $1,200 extra cost.

The report says that, when the price of such a stent is negotiated down so it's only $600 more than a drug-less stent, it would still only make sense for some patients. Given the enormous investment biotech companies are now putting into drug-eluting stents, one has to wonder if the money will come back. (Picture from SeekingAlpha.)

These kinds of calculations are going to become commonplace as we move into a more realistic health care debate over the next few years. It's not just about living longer, the bureaucrats say, but living well longer.

It will be interesting hearing what the theologians say.

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