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20-02-2013 | General practice | Article

GORD device could cut PPI scripts

Abstract

N Engl J Med 2013; 368: 719–727

medwireNews: A magnetic device that fits around that oesophageal sphincter holds promise for the treatment of gastrooesophageal reflux disease (GORD), show long-term study results published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Three-year findings demonstrated that 87% of patients were able to stop taking their proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy altogether after receiving the implant, which consists of a string of magnetic beads designed to increase the sphincter's resistance to abnormal opening.

Compared with a baseline period when patients were not taking PPIs, 64 of the 100 patients in the study achieved normalisation or at least a 50% reduction in esophageal acid exposure after implant.

Additionally, 92% of patients recorded at least a 50% reduction in quality-of-life scores compared with baseline.

Furthermore, the number of patients reporting moderate-to-severe regurgitation fell from 57% before implantation to 1% in years 2 and 3 of the study, and 94% reported satisfaction with their condition after 3 years, compared with just 13% during PPI therapy at baseline.

Dr Robert Ganz (Minnesota Gastroenterology, Plymouth, USA) and co-authors say that the treatment could provide an alternative for the 40% of GORD patients who fail to respond to PPIs - something that could help to relieve the ever growing burden of these drugs on prescription budgets. Last year there were 43 million prescriptions written for PPIs in England alone.

However, they add that their findings should be considered preliminary, and larger studies with longer follow-ups are needed to fully assess the safety of the device.

medwireNews is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2013

By Kirsty Oswald