An analysis of the economic impact of drug-coated balloon use for the treatment of peripheral artery disease

Antonio Micari, Giuseppe Vadalà, Mara Corbo, Gianluigi D'Alessandro, Fausto Castriota, Alberto Cremonesi


Background: Drug-coated balloons (DCBs) are an alternative for patients with peripheral arterial disease. Costs and re-intervention rates are potentially reduced compared to other technologies. We assessed the economic impact of these endovascular therapies.

Methods: An Italian National Healthcare Service-perspective budget impact model with a 5-year horizon was developed to compare relative costs of 4 index procedures (plain old balloon angioplasty (POBA), DCBs, and bare-metal and drug-eluting stents (BMSs, DESs)) based on 1-year repeat-procedure rates (target-lesion revascularization (TLR)). A published systematic review of TLR rates in patients with femoral-popliteal disease undergoing these treatments was used to measure effectiveness. Costs associated with each treatment were derived from diagnosis-related group tariffs. A decision analytic model was developed to estimate 1-year costs for index procedures and possible revascularizations.


Results: Pooled TLR rates show clear patient benefits for DCBs (6.9%) compared with POBA (21.6%) and BMSs (14.2%) and non-inferiority vs. DESs (7.3%). One-year payments for index and repeat interventions (by TLR rate) showed that DCBs were the least costly strategy, saving ~€1,000/patient vs. POBA. The potential savings were €8.7M, assuming 5% annual increase in DCB adoption over 5 years.

Conclusions: Despite initial higher investment, DCB represent a cost-saving alternative to other technologies. 

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