Noninvasive ExAblate[R] Treatment for Uterine Fibroids is Cost-Effective, New Study Says.
WAUKESHA, Wis. & TIRAT CARMEL, Israel -- GE Healthcare and InSightec announced that new data show that the non-invasive ExAblate[R] 2000 Magnetic Resonance-guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) system is more cost-effective than myomectomy or Uterine Artery Embollization (UAE). The study appears in the January 2009 issue (Vol. 25, Issue 1) of The International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care.
"This study shows that treating uterine fibroids with MRgFUS is a cost-effective option for payers" said David Lee Ph.D., Senior Director, Health Economics and Outcomes Research, GE Healthcare. "With any healthcare treatment, there is the direct cost of the procedure, but there's also the indirect cost of lost productivity, all the more crucial in today's economy."
Study results show that ExAblate patients enjoy a greater number of quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) than those who undergo a myomectomy or a hysterectomy (17.36 vs. 17.31 and 17.18, respectively). ExAblate lifetime treatment costs were less than a myomectomy or uterine artery embolization, but more than hysterectomy, the most invasive of all procedures. "Taken together, the ratio of benefits to costs for ExAblate was well within accepted standards for cost-effectiveness," said Dr. Lee.
The ExAblate procedure takes about three to four hours and normally allows the patient to go home the same day and return to normal activities within a day or two. Hysterectomy, the most common treatment for this condition, is a major surgery, requiring two to five days of hospitalization plus six to eight weeks of recovery, and generating significant complications. Many women have chosen to suffer from the severe symptoms that fibroids cause rather than undergo hysterectomies or other invasive procedures.
About Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are benign growths in the uterus that affect more than 30% of women of childbearing age. Symptomatic women suffer from extensive and prolonged menstrual bleeding, anaemia, pain, pressure and often infertility. Existing treatment options include hysterectomy, myomectomy and uterine artery embolization, all of which are invasive or minimally invasive, involving hospitalization and several weeks of recovery time. ExAblate is an outpatient procedure and patients normally return home the same day and to work within one to two days.
ExAblate[R] 2000 is currently used commercially as a treatment for symptomatic uterine fibroids. The system received its European CE Mark in uterine fibroids in 2002 and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the system as a treatment for symptomatic uterine fibroids in 2004. Over 4,500 symptomatic women have been treated with the ExAblate to date with 92% reporting symptom relief up to 36-months after treatment. In addition, the ExAblate system received the European CE Mark certification for pain palliation of bone metastases in June 2007.
InSightec Ltd. is a privately held company owned by Elbit Imaging (EI), General Electric Company, MediTech Advisors, LLC and employees. It was founded in 1999 to develop the breakthrough MR guided Focused Ultrasound technology and transform it into the next generation operating room. Headquartered near Haifa, Israel, the company has over 160 employees and has invested more than $120 million in research, development, and clinical investigations. Its U.S. headquarters are located in Dallas, Texas. For more information, please go to: http://www.insightec.com/
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform, treat and monitor disease, so patients can live their lives to the fullest.
GE Healthcare's broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.