A scarcity of funding resources is limiting patient access to major advances in medicine
Health care spending represents a substantial and increasing proportion of national expenditure in most countries. Total annual health care spending in Australia now exceeds $120 billion, or 9.4% of gross domestic product.1 The highest proportion of health care funding is spent on cardiovascular disease, which accounted for 11% of total expenditure in the 2008–09 financial year.1 Rapid advances in pharmacotherapy and device technology are constantly pressuring funding sources. New cardiovascular technologies, including drug-eluting stents, implantable defibrillators, left ventricular assist devices, and devices for structural heart disease, are undoubtedly major advances, but access to the devices has often outpaced the availability of funding to pay for them.
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