Modeling payback from research into the efficacy of left-ventricular assist devices as destination therapy

Alan Girling, G Freeman, Jason Gordon, P Poole-Wilson, D Scott, Richard Lilford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: Ongoing developments in design have improved the outlook for left-ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation as a therapy in end-stage heart failure. Nevertheless, early cost-effectiveness assessments, based on first-generation devices, have not been encouraging. Against this background, we set out (i) to examine the survival benefit that LVADs would need to generate before they could be deemed cost-effective; (ii) to provide insight into the likelihood that this benefit will be achieved; and (iii) from the perspective of a healthcare provider, to assess the value of discovering the actual size of this benefit by means of a Bayesian value of information analysis. METHODS: Cost-effectiveness assessments are made from the perspective of the healthcare provider, using current UK norms for the value of a quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). The treatment model is grounded in published analyses of the Randomized Evaluation of Mechanical Assistance for the Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure (REMATCH) trial of first-generation LVADs, translated into a UK cost setting. The prospects for patient survival with second-generation devices is assessed using Bayesian prior distributions, elicited from a group of leading clinicians in the field. RESULTS: Using established thresholds, cost-effectiveness probabilities under these priors are found to be low (approximately .2 percent) for devices costing as much as 60,000 pounds. Sensitivity of the conclusions to both device cost and QALY valuation is examined. CONCLUSIONS: In the event that the price of the device in use would reduce to 40,000 pounds, the value of the survival information can readily justify investment in further trials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2007


  • cost-effectiveness
  • heart assist devices
  • Bayesian analysis
  • value of information
  • prior elicitation


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