6 Implications for the NHS

6.1 The financial impact of using DES depends on the proportion of stented arteries that are narrow or contain long lesions offset against the increased capacity of the system resulting from a decrease in procedures to manage restenosis. Although the total number of arteries requiring a DES in the UK is unknown, it could be as high as one-third of all stents. Based on this proportion, the additional cost of DES without offsets would be between £6 and £7.2 million per year, assuming the use of about 12,000 DES stents costing an additional £500 to £600 each.

6.2 If the use of drug-eluting stents reduced the restenosis rate by about 10 percentage points then the additional capacity generated could be used to increase the number of new stent procedures. This would have the effect of offsetting the cost of the BMS by about £4 million per year. Such cost savings, however, will often only be realised in the form of additional capacity.