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Urology. 1995 Oct;46(4):477-83.

Economic modeling to assess the costs of treatment with finasteride, terazosin, and transurethral resection of the prostate for men with moderate to severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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  • 1St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Department of Urology, New York, NY 10019, USA.



We developed a decision analytic model to compare the costs of treatment for an initial 2-year period with finasteride, terazosin, and transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) in men with at least moderate symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Outcome measures were BPH treatment costs, duration of symptomatic improvement, and lost productivity days (work or other customary activity).


Patterns of health care resource use associated with the treatment of moderate to severe BPH and BPH-related complications were evaluated by a survey of urologists and validated by a urology consensus panel. BPH safety and efficacy studies in the published literature were used to provide probabilities of treatment success. Both a national health care resource database (Systemetrics) and Medicare data were used to estimate the costs of specific health care services (such as physician services and laboratory tests).


The probabilities of first-year success (defined as symptomatic improvement) for surgery, finasteride, and terazosin were 88%, 67%, and 74%, respectively. The most expensive intervention was surgery, followed by finasteride and terazosin, at estimated 24-month costs of $6411, $2860, and $2422 for private insurance and $3874, $2161, and $1820 for Medicare, respectively. Duration of symptom improvement was comparable for the three treatments. Estimates of usual activity days lost (work or other customary activity) were 22, 8, and 8 days for surgery, finasteride, and terazosin, respectively.


As a primary intervention for patients considering conventional clinical approaches to BPH treatment, pharmacotherapy is expected to be less expensive than TURP over the initial 2 years of therapy.

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