(HealthDay)—Cardiac implant prices are two to six times higher in the United States than in Germany, according to a study published in the October issue of Health Affairs.
Martin Wenzl and Elias Mossialos, Ph.D., both from the London School of Economics and Political Science, used 2006 to 2014 data from a large hospital panel survey to compare prices of cardiac implants between the United States and four European Union countries: Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
The researchers found that prices were two to six times higher in the United States than in Germany, where cardiac implants were generally the cheapest. Prices varied between the EU countries. For example, coronary stent and pacemaker prices were higher in France and Italy than in the United Kingdom, where prices were similar to those in Germany. There was significant price variation between hospitals within a given country, and within- and between-country variations were of similar magnitude.
“While these findings can help assess whether technology-related policies effectively control the prices of cardiac devices, future research is necessary to establish a causal relationship between prices and several possible explanatory factors and help policy makers understand which mechanisms are available to control device prices,” conclude the authors.