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Pharmacoeconomics in anaesthesia: what are the issues?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 August 2006

P. F. White
Affiliation:
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management, University of Texas South-Western Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9068, USA
M. F. Watcha
Affiliation:
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management, University of Texas South-Western Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9068, USA
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Abstract

Newer anaesthetic agents provide a faster onset, easier titration and a more rapid recovery than the older agents, but are more expensive. In assessing the financial consequences associated with their use, it is important to examine the total costs (including personnel costs) and not just the acquisition costs of new drugs. Claims of cost savings from new drugs should be subjected to close scrutiny, with studies designed to demonstrate that the preferential use of the newer drug is associated with actual decreased payments for personnel, an earlier return to normal activities by the patient and/or their caretakers, or the completion of an additional case in the same operating session. It may be necessary to alter work patterns to obtain the full benefits of the new drugs (e.g. bypass of the labour-intensive [phase I] postanaesthetic care unit). Finally, greater cost savings in the operating room can be achieved by increasing efficiency in resource utilization. A delay in starting a case, or a prolonged turnover time between cases, can negate any cost savings related to the anaesthetist's choice of drugs.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
2001 European Society of Anaesthesiology

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