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NICE Guidelines for the use of drug-eluting stents: how do we establish worth?
  1. Mark A de Belder (mark.debelder{at}
  1. The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom


    The introduction of new healthcare technologies requires an appropriate discourse between clinicians who identify problems to be overcome and industrial partners that provide potential solutions. New products go through a tight regulatory process before they can be widely used. Although this process is somewhat different for medical devices compared with drugs, the principles are the same: demonstration of proof of principle and safety, and identification of patients most likely to benefit. However, their use nowadays depends as much on a demonstration of cost-effectiveness as on clinical effectiveness. Cost-effectiveness analysis requires quantification of both clinical effect and overall costs of different treatments.

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