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Evidence to Improve Care

Paclitaxel Drug-Eluting Stents in Peripheral Arterial Disease

Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendations

  • OHTAC recommends against publicly funding paclitaxel drug-eluting stents for the treatment of above-the-knee peripheral arterial disease.

Read the full OHTAC Recommendation

Peripheral arterial disease is a common condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries and results in less blood flowing to the legs. Symptoms of peripheral arterial disease may include leg pain (particularly after walking) and sores that won’t heal.

There are a variety of treatments for peripheral arterial disease, including exercise, medications and surgery.

Another option that is less invasive than surgery is called angioplasty. During an angioplasty, a blood vessel is opened with a balloon. A small, wire mesh tube (otherwise known as a stent) may then be inserted to help hold the artery open and decrease its chance of narrowing again. Some stents are coated with medication to help keep the artery open (drug-eluting stents), while others are not (bare-metal stents).

Drug eluting stents that release a drug called paclitaxel may do a better job of keeping narrowed blood vessels open.

Paclitaxel Drug-Eluting Stents in Peripheral Arterial Disease: A Health Technology Assessment (PDF)
November 2015

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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has accepted this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ministry has no current plans to fund this procedure.

Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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