Medical, Political, and Economic Considerations for the Use of MAC for Endoscopic Sedation: Big Price, Little Justification?

Basavana Goudra, Preet Mohinder Singh, Gary R. Lichtenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The last few decades of gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy have seen phenomenal growth. In many aspects, GI endoscopy has led the field of nonsurgical interventional medicine. In many aspects, this growth is facilitated by advancements in sedation—both drugs and techniques. Unfortunately, the topic of GI endoscopy sedation is also mired in many controversies, mainly emanating from the cost of anesthesia providers. While no one debates their role in the majority of advanced endoscopic procedures, the practice of universal propofol sedation in the USA, delivered by anesthesia providers, needs a closer look. In this review, medical, political, and economic considerations of this important topic are discussed in a very frank and honest way. While such ubiquitous propofol use has increased satisfaction of both patients and gastroenterologists, there is little justification. More importantly, going by the evidence, there is even less justification for the mandated anesthesia providers use for such delivery. Unfortunately, the FDA could not be convinced otherwise. The new drug fospropofol met the same fate. Approval of SEDASYS®, the first computer-assisted personalized sedation system, was a step in the right direction, nevertheless an insufficient step that failed to takeoff. As a result, in spite of years of research and efforts of many august societies, the logjam of balancing cost and justification of propofol sedation has continued. We hope that recent approval of remimazolam, a novel benzodiazepine, and potential approval of oliceridine, a novel short-acting opioid, might be able to contain the cost without compromising the quality of sedation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2466-2472
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • GI endoscopy
  • Oliceridine
  • Propofol
  • Remimazolam
  • Sedasys
  • Sedation


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