Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of pharmacologic therapy: where we've been and where we're going
Analyses of the cost-effectiveness of drug therapy have become more common in the 1990s. The increase in these analyses is due to the increasing cost of health care, the development of managed care, and the growing tendency of governments to examine health care costs. However, the basic techniques of economic analysis are not being used consistently in studies published in medical journals. Some of these basic techniques are discussion of the benefits, the costs being analyzed, and calculation of a cost-benefit ratio. Furthermore, data selection in cost-benefit analyses is more subjective and under less ethical regulation than data selection in clinical trials. As a result, their is a great potential for conflict of interest as researchers may have some affiliation with pharmaceutical companies. Ultimately,cost-benefit analyses may or may not actually lead to more efficient health care spending.
Publication Name: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Conflict of Interest and Cost-effectiveness Analysis
The editors of biomedical journals should develop guidelines for authors who submit cost-effectiveness studies. These studies show whether a drug is cost-effective in treating a specific disease. However, many researchers receive funding from the pharmaceutical industry and may therefore have a conflict of interest. A 1999 study showed that research reports that were funded by the pharmaceutical industry were more likely to say a drug was cost-effective compared to other reports.
Publication Name: JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association
Pharmacoeconomic evaluation of new treatments: efficacy versus effectiveness studies?
Clinical trials of drugs should include patients who are more representative of patients in the community and should assess issues like quality of life. Many drugs are tested on specific groups of people, but the same results are not seen when primary care physicians apply them to patients in the community.
Publication Name: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
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