For patients with clogged heart arteries who take long-term, low-dose aspirin to prevent a cardiac event, adding a stomach acid-blocking drug to their daily routine has been shown to reduce their risk for upper gastrointestinal bleeding – an infrequent, but serious side-effect of regular aspirin use.
But do the benefits of these acid blockers – called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs – outweigh their long-term costs?
In a new study, researchers at the University of Michigan Health System reveal that, from the perspective of a long-term payer, over-the-counter PPIs are worth the price for coronary heart disease patients taking low-dose aspirin as a preventative measure. At prescription costs, however, PPIs are cost-effective only for elderly patients and patients at high risk for upper GI bleeding.
Continue reading “Aspirin, acid blocker a-day keeps GI bleeding”