One of the commonly recurring lecture themes at LINC 2018 concerned drug coated balloons (DCBs) with a total of 7 symposium dedicated to DCB clinical outcomes and treatment strategies. As market researchers we undertstand that cost and limited reimbursement issues are always a major barrier to the adoption of newer technologies such as DCBs despite the increasing amount of clinical evidence to support their usage. Therefore, a lecture by Dr Frank Vermassen from Ghent Hospital, Belgium piqued our interest where he discussed the health economic analysis of DCBs compared with POAB (plain old angioplasty balloon) and BMS (bare metal stents) in Belgium.
The study used pooled clinical trial data to calculate the TLR (target lesion revascularisation) rates for DCB, BMS and POBA, which would be the basis of accessing the cost-effectiveness of each therapy. The freedom from TLR probabilities for DCBs were the lowest of all the technologies at 60.5% at 24 months (the comparative rates were 73.2% for BMS and 83.5% for POBA).
Given the lower rate of revascularisation for DCBs, the total budget impact due to revascularisations was calculated by Dr Vermassen in the following chart. The cost saving due to reduced revascularisation coupled with the increased reimbursement for DCBs in Belgium now means that DCBs prove more cost effective than both BMS and POBA.
Dr Vermassen concludes that given this data, therapy decisions to use DCBs can now be based on efficacy and patient outcomes rather than cost.