The U.K.’s cost watchdog has recommended the use of Boston Scientific’s cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) for the treatment of heart failure patients. The device, which has an extended battery life, could save the healthcare system up to £6 million ($7.4 million) in the first five years.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy treats heart failure, where the heart does not pump enough blood for the body’s needs, by correcting irregular heart rates. CRT-Ds detect these irregularities and deliver electric pulses to correct them.
Boston Scientific’s EnduraLife powered CRT-Ds have nearly twice the battery life of other CRT-Ds, the company says. While the company debuted the EnduraLife brand in 2015, it added the battery technology to its suite of CRT-Ds in 2008.
“Assuming an average selling price of £12,404 across different devices, using ENDURALIFE‑powered CRT‑Ds may save between £2,120 and £5,627 per patient over 15 years through a reduction in the need for replacement procedures,” the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said in its guidance.
The recommendation is based on the evaluation of 16 studies, which showed the devices have a greater battery capacity and longer battery life than other devices reviewed, Boston Sci said in a statement.
"The NICE guidance reinforces the multi-faceted importance of battery longevity in devices treating patients with heart failure and life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias," said Dr. Jay Wright, consultant cardiologist, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Liverpool, United Kingdom, in the statement. "Additionally, the reduction in replacement procedures and potential savings identified within the guidance could offer longer-term relief to NHS providers who have recently seen an increase in the number of patients requiring further in-hospital treatment."
Fewer replacement procedures cuts the risk of complications—which is higher in follow-up procedures than in first-time implantations—lowering associated costs, such as longer hospital stays and treatment for post-op infections, NICE said. Fewer replacements also frees up more CRT-Ds, so that more patients may receive a new implant for the same cost.
The guidance reflects an independent validation of something that we’ve been trying to publicize about our devices for some time now,” said Ken Stein, M.D., chief medical officer of Rhythm Management at Boston Scientific.
“It is fundamentally important to show that improvements in technology can both improve patient outcomes and also … improve the long-term sustainability of the healthcare system,” he said.