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Are Medical Devices Cost-Effective?

first page of study

Prior research has estimated that the economic benefits of medical devices for heart disease, colorectal cancer, diabetes, and musculoskeletal disease exceed their costs. Many other studies have examined the value of individual devices.

We take an alternative approach by grouping pre-market authorized medical devices together in FDA-defined generic categories (e.g., drug-eluting stents, implantable cardio defibrillators, etc.), and then examining the cost-effectiveness of each group.

This paper has two principal insights. First, only roughly one-quarter of the major PMA medical device categories have published cost-effectiveness evidence. Second, our study suggests that devices in these categories generally offer good value relative to established cost-effectiveness benchmarks.

Also available as published in Applied Health Economics and Health Policy.