In 2004 over one million coronary syent procedures were performed in the United States and approximately 85 percent of these procedures were done on patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD). In patients with stable CAD, no benefits have been observed with stents, as they do not reduce the risk of death, heart attck, or other major cardiovascular events over those receiving optimal medical therapy (aggressive drug treatments and life style changes).
The cost of 850,000 stent procedures would approximate $5.6 billion while the cost of aggressive drug treatment for the same group would approximate $2 billion for medication costs for 10 years. Cost of drug treatments used following stent procedures would probably exceed drug cost in non-stent patients because of the high cost associated with the use of Plavix.
How many consumers with stable CAD would choose a stent if they were given the options and allowed to participate in the decision-making process?