Economic aspects of introducing new nebulizer technology

Respir Care. 2002 Nov;47(11):1321-31; discussion 1331-3.


The adoption of new medical technology has been a major factor in the development of today's highly sophisticated health care delivery system. Recently, important breakthroughs in biotechnology have introduced the possibility that certain terminal diseases may soon become a thing of the past. However, these advances have come at a steep price. Total health care spending in the United States is at an all-time high and the rate of increase in annual expenditures is once again in the double-digit neighborhood. It is clear that it will no longer be "business as usual" in health care, especially with regard to the introduction of new technology. New economic realities now require that those advocating the adoption of a new drug, device, or treatment balance their clinical enthusiasm with cost-effectiveness considerations. This is especially important when the cost of a new drug or device is higher than that of existing drugs or devices. Unlike former times, when the decision to adopt new medical technology resided primarily with clinicians, the approval process is now exceedingly more complex and involves many more individuals, some of whom, clinicians and non-clinicians alike, tend to focus more on protecting their budgets than on approving expenditures for new technology. Pharmacoeconomics has emerged to formalize the decision-making process for the adoption of new drugs. Since many of the issues are similar, the basic principles of pharmacoeconomics hold promise for physicians and therapists championing the adoption of new nebulizers. Pharmacoeconomic data, when gathered, reviewed, and presented in a standardized and unbiased manner, can be a valuable tool to help justify the overall cost/benefit advantages of new nebulizer technology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Participation / economics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Economics, Pharmaceutical*
  • Humans
  • Medical Laboratory Science / economics
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers / economics*