Cost-effectiveness of drug-eluting stents versus bare metal stents in clinical practice

Pascha Emmons Schafer, Matthew T. Sacrinty, David J. Cohen, Michael A. Kutcher, Sanjay K. Gandhi, Renato M. Santos, William C. Little, Robert J. Applegate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background-Drug-eluting stents (DES) reduce the need for repeat target revascularization (TVR) compared with bare metal stents (BMS) but are more costly. The objective was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of DES versus BMS. Methods and Results-We evaluated clinical outcomes and costs of care over 3 years in 1147 undergoing BMS before the availability of DES and 1247 DES patients at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center from 2002 to 2005. Costs for index stenting, TVR, and clopidogrel use were assessed. The 2 groups were well matched for baseline characteristics. Index stenting costs were $1846 higher per patient for DES versus BMS ($1737 more to $1950 more). At 3 years, absolute TVR rates were 15.2 per 100 DES patients and 24.1 per 100 BMS patients, and as a result, cumulative TVR-related costs were $2065 less per patient for DES versus BMS ($3001 less to $1134 less). Including the cost of clopidogrel, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio per TVR avoided with DES was $4731 through 1 year, $4703 through 2 years, and $6379 through 3 years. Conclusions-At 3 years, the higher index cost of DES versus BMS was completely offset by lower TVR-related costs. However, because of extended clopidogrel use for DES, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio per TVR avoided ranged from $4703 to $6379 over 3 years. These unadjusted observational findings provide support for the continued use of DES in routine practice but highlight the important impact of prolonged dual antiplatelet use on the cost-effectiveness of this technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-415
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical outcomes
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Dual antiplatelet therapy
  • Health economics
  • Stent therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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