Patient self-management of oral anticoagulant therapy cost-effective

June 19, 2006

Long-term oral anticoagulant ("blood thinner") therapy is prescribed for a variety of reasons, such as the prevention or treatment of blood clots after heart valve replacement. Traditionally, patients taking these drugs have to undergo frequent blood tests and then often receive dose adjustments from their physicians. Patient self-management of anticoagulation therapy is a recent option, but it is not currently funded in the Canadian health care system.

Regier and colleagues compared the incremental cost and health benefits of patient self-management of these drugs with that of physician management over a 5-year period. They found that self-management was a cost-effective strategy for patients receiving long-term oral anticoagulation in certain clinical situations.
-end-
p. 1847 Cost-effectiveness of self-managed versus physician-managed oral anticoagulation therapy
-- D.A. Regier et al

Canadian Medical Association Journal

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