More on unnecessary stents

It seems I am not the only one writing about over-used stent procedures:

Maggie Mahar from Health Beat: “Even though many well-designed clinical studies conclude that drug therapy alone can reduce the risk of heart attack and death in people with stable coronary artery disease just as well as more expensive invasive procedures, many cardiologists continue to use interventions like propping open blocked arteries with costly stents instead of first trying medication.”  and: "there is  a large body of well-accepted studies on the best practices for treating stable coronary artery disease already available. And when it comes to stents, studies have long indicated that inappropriate use is clearly driving up Medicare costs."

Carolyn Thomas in The Ethical Nag: “You can lead a cardiologist to water but, apparently, you cannot make him drink”

I couldn't agree more with these comments. Is this debate comparable to today's arguments about raising the US Debt ceiling? (Except of course, there is not even a debate in regards to the use of stents in patients with coronary artery disease: despite these and many other publications, the trend towards more and more PCI insertions has only increased!)

Dr T


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