Cost-Effectiveness Decisions: Who Do You Trust?

A study published in the Journal of Thoracic Disease digs deep into understanding the assumptions in HEOR studies that evaluate the cost-effectiveness of personalized cancer treatments.

Health economics helps insurers, healthcare systems and providers make treatment decisions based on the cost of extra "units" of health arising from a specific treatment. By calculating the cost for each year of life or quality-adjusted year of life gained, these groups can decide whether changing treatments or adding in a new treatment beyond the existing standard of care is "worth it."

However, while the resulting incremental cost effectiveness ratio is often presented as an absolute measure upon which to base these decisions, an opinion published by University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, and Adam Atherly, PhD, suggests that the consumers of these data need to be much more aware of the assumptions underlying these calculations.

"Increasingly physicians are being presented with health economic analyses in mainstream medical journals as a means of potentially influencing their prescribing. However, it is only when you understand the multiple assumptions behind these calculations that you can see that they are by no means absolute truths," Dr Camidge says.

Article published in Journal of Thoracic Oncology:

Link to the report on ScienceDaily: