Monday, April 26, 2010

Heart drugs may be as effective as angioplasty

When you look at the increases in drug costs, think about stories like this. If drug costs increase as a result of innovative ideas and result in less spending in another area (resulting in a net savings) isn't this a good thing?

From the Vancouver Province:
Hundreds of people with angina may be unnecessarily undergoing angioplasty -- a common procedure to clear clogged coronary arteries that carries a small but real risk of heart attack and stroke -- because drugs alone work just as well, Canadian researchers are reporting.

The study challenges the conventional thinking that angioplasty provides more freedom from chest pain than medication.

Researchers from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre could find no significant differences in symptoms between patients treated with angioplasty and those treated with modern-day drug therapy alone.

The benefit of the popular procedure on angina relief "may be substantially smaller than previously believed," the team writes in a study published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine. ...more

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