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Publication History View all

  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Elicitation is a technique that can be used to obtain probability distribution from experts about unknown quantities. We conducted a methodology review of reports where probability distributions had been elicited from experts to be used in model-based health technology assessments. Databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE and the CRD database were searched from inception to April 2013. Reference lists were checked and citation mapping was also used. Studies describing their approach to the elicitation of probability distributions were included. Data was abstracted on pre-defined aspects of the elicitation technique. Reports were critically appraised on their consideration of the validity, reliability and feasibility of the elicitation exercise. Fourteen articles were included. Across these studies, the most marked features were heterogeneity in elicitation approach and failure to report key aspects of the elicitation method. The most frequently used approaches to elicitation were the histogram technique and the bisection method. Only three papers explicitly considered the validity, reliability and feasibility of the elicitation exercises. Judged by the studies identified in the review, reports of expert elicitation are insufficient in detail and this impacts on the perceived usability of expert-elicited probability distributions. In this context, the wider credibility of elicitation will only be improved by better reporting and greater standardisation of approach. Until then, the advantage of eliciting probability distributions from experts may be lost.
    PharmacoEconomics 10/2013;
  • Value in Health 05/2013; 16(3):A28.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK after breast and lung cancer. People with metastatic disease who are sufficiently fit are usually treated with active chemotherapy as first- or second-line therapy. Recently, targeted agents have become available including anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) agents, for example cetuximab and panitumumab, and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor agents, for example bevacizumab. To investigate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of panitumumab monotherapy and cetuximab (mono- or combination chemotherapy) for Kirsten rat sarcoma (KRAS) wild-type (WT) patients, and bevacizumab in combination with non-oxaliplatin chemotherapy, for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer after first-line chemotherapy. The assessment comprises a systematic review of clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness studies, a review and critique of manufacturer submissions and a de novo cohort-based economic analysis. For the assessment of effectiveness, a literature search was conducted in a range of electronic databases, including MEDLINE, EMBASE and The Cochrane Library, from 2005 to November 2010. Studies were included if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or systematic reviews of RCTs of cetuximab, bevacizumab or panitumumab in participants with EGFR-expressing metastatic colorectal cancer with KRAS WT status that has progressed after first-line chemotherapy (for cetuximab and panitumumab) or participants with metastatic colorectal cancer that has progressed after first-line chemotherapy (bevacizumab). All steps in the review were performed by one reviewer and checked independently by a second. Synthesis was mainly narrative. An economic model was developed focusing on third-line and subsequent lines of treatment. Costs and benefits were discounted at 3.5% per annum. Probabilistic and univariate deterministic sensitivity analyses were performed. The searches identified 7745 titles and abstracts. Two clinical trials (reported in 12 papers) were included. No data were available for bevacizumab in combination with non-oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy in previously treated patients. Neither of the included studies had KRAS status performed prospectively, but the studies did report retrospective analyses of the results for the KRAS WT subgroups. Third-line treatment with cetuximab plus best supportive care or panitumumab plus best supportive care appears to have statistically significant advantages over treatment with best supportive care alone in patients with KRAS WT status. For the economic evaluation, five studies met the inclusion criteria. The base-case incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) for KRAS WT patients for cetuximab compared with best supportive care is £98,000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY), for panitumumab compared with best supportive care is £150,000 per QALY and for cetuximab plus irinotecan compared with best supportive care is £88,000 per QALY. All ICERs are sensitive to treatment duration. In the specific populations of interest, there is a lack of evidence on bevacizumab, cetuximab and cetuximab plus irinotecan used second line and on bevacizumab and cetuximab plus irinotecan used third line. For cetuximab plus irinotecan treatment for KRAS WT people, there is no direct evidence on progression-free survival, overall survival and duration of treatment. Although cetuximab and panitumumab appear to be clinically beneficial for KRAS WT patients compared with best supportive care, they are likely to represent poor value for money when judged by cost-effectiveness criteria currently used in the UK. It would be useful to conduct a RCT for patients with KRAS WT status receiving cetuximab plus irinotecan. The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England). 04/2013; 17(14):1-237.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe the evolution of a cost-utility model used to inform the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE) most recent decisions on the cost-utility of drug treatments for Alzheimer's disease (AD), and to explore the impact of structural assumptions on the cost-utility results. Methods: Changes informed by noted limitations of the decision model used in NICE's previous decisions (in 2006) were made cumulatively to the original decision model for donepezil compared with best supportive care (for patients with mild to moderate AD). Deterministic and probabilistic analyses were undertaken for each cumulative change of the model. The expected value of perfect information (EVPI) of parameter estimates and structural assumptions was also calculated. Results: Cumulative changes to the decision model highlighted how the results of the original model (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £81,000 per quality-adjusted life-year gained) related to those of the new model (where donepezil was estimated to be cost-saving), mainly due to uncertainty in the incremental cost of donepezil treatment over best supportive care (ranging from -£600 to £3,000 per patient). The partial EVPI analysis reflected this finding where further information on treatment discontinuations and cost parameter estimates were shown to be valuable in terms of reducing decision uncertainty. Conclusions: Assessing the evolution of the cost-utility model helped to identify and explore structural differences between cohort-based models and is likely to be useful for decision models in other disease areas. This approach makes the structural uncertainty explicit, forcing decision makers to address structural uncertainty in addition to parameter uncertainty.
    International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 03/2013;
  • Source
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    ABSTRACT: In the UK, women aged 50-73 years are invited for screening by mammography every 3 years. In 2009-10, more than 2.24 million women in this age group in England were invited to take part in the programme, of whom 73% attended a screening clinic. Of these, 64,104 women were recalled for assessment. Of those recalled, 81% did not have breast cancer; these women are described as having a false-positive mammogram. The aim of this systematic review was to identify the psychological impact on women of false-positive screening mammograms and any evidence for the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce this impact. We were also looking for evidence of effects in subgroups of women. MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, Health Management Information Consortium, Cochrane Central Register for Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, CRD Health Technology Assessment (HTA), Cochrane Methodology, Web of Science, Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Science, Conference Proceeding Citation Index-Social Science and Humanities, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Sociological Abstracts, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, the British Library's Electronic Table of Contents and others. Initial searches were carried out between 8 October 2010 and 25 January 2011. Update searches were carried out on 26 October 2011 and 23 March 2012. Based on the inclusion criteria, titles and abstracts were screened independently by two reviewers. Retrieved papers were reviewed and selected using the same independent process. Data were extracted by one reviewer and checked by another. Each included study was assessed for risk of bias. Eleven studies were found from 4423 titles and abstracts. Studies that used disease-specific measures found a negative psychological impact lasting up to 3 years. Distress increased with the level of invasiveness of the assessment procedure. Studies using instruments designed to detect clinical levels of morbidity did not find this effect. Women with false-positive mammograms were less likely to return for the next round of screening [relative risk (RR) 0.97; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.96 to 0.98] than those with normal mammograms, were more likely to have interval cancer [odds ratio (OR) 3.19 (95% CI 2.34 to 4.35)] and were more likely to have cancer detected at the next screening round [OR 2.15 (95% CI 1.55 to 2.98)]. This study was limited to UK research and by the robustness of the included studies, which frequently failed to report quality indicators, for example failure to consider the risk of bias or confounding, or failure to report participants' demographic characteristics. We conclude that the experience of having a false-positive screening mammogram can cause breast cancer-specific psychological distress that may endure for up to 3 years, and reduce the likelihood that women will return for their next round of mammography screening. These results should be treated cautiously owing to inherent weakness of observational designs and weaknesses in reporting. Future research should include a qualitative interview study and observational studies that compare generic and disease-specific measures, collect demographic data and include women from different social and ethnic groups. PROSPERO: CRD42011001345. The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 03/2013; 17(13):1-170.
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    ABSTRACT: To describe the development process for defining an appropriate model structure for the economic evaluation of test-treatment strategies for patients with monogenic diabetes (caused by mutations in the GCK, HNF1A or HNF4A genes). Experts were consulted to identify and define realistic test-treatment strategies and care pathways. A systematic assessment of published diabetes models was undertaken to inform the model structure. National Health Service in England and Wales. Experts in monogenic diabetes whose collective expertise spans the length of the patient care pathway. A defined model structure, including the test-treatment strategies, and the selection of a published diabetes model appropriate for the economic evaluation of strategies to identify patients with monogenic diabetes. Five monogenic diabetes test-treatment strategies were defined: no testing of any kind, referral for genetic testing based on clinical features as noted by clinicians, referral for genetic testing based on the results of a clinical prediction model, referral for genetic testing based on the results of biochemical and immunological tests, referral for genetic testing for all patients with a diagnosis of diabetes under the age of 30 years. The systematic assessment of diabetes models identified the IMS CORE Diabetes Model (IMS CDM) as a good candidate for modelling the long-term outcomes and costs of the test-treatment strategies for monogenic diabetes. The short-term test-treatment events will be modelled using a decision tree which will feed into the IMS CDM. Defining a model structure for any economic evaluation requires decisions to be made. Expert consultation and the explicit use of critical appraisal can inform these decisions. Although arbitrary choices have still been made, decision modelling allows investigation into such choices and the impact of assumptions that have to be made due to a lack of data.
    BMJ Open 01/2013; 3(5).
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: in 2007 the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) restricted the use of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. METHODS: we conducted a health technology assessment (HTA) of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine and memantine for the treatment of AD to re-consider and up-date the evidence base used to inform the 2007 NICE decision. The systematic review of effectiveness targeted randomised controlled trials. A comprehensive search, including MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane Library, was conducted from January 2004 to March 2010. All key review steps were done by two reviewers. Random effects meta-analysis was conducted. The cost-effectiveness was assessed using a cohort-based model with three health states: pre-institutionalised, institutionalised and dead. The perspective was NHS and Personal Social Services and the cost year 2009. RESULTS: confidence about the size and statistical significance of the estimates of effect of galantamine, rivastigmine and memantine improved on function and global impact in particular. Cost-effectiveness also changed. For donepezil, galantamine and rivastigmine, the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) in 2004 was above £50,000; in 2010 the same drugs 'dominated' best supportive care (improved clinical outcome at reduced cost). This was primarily because of changes in the modelled costs of introducing the drugs. For memantine, the cost-effectiveness also improved from a range of £37-53,000 per QALY gained to a base-case of £32,000. CONCLUSION: there has been a change in the evidence base between 2004 and 2010 consistent with the change in NICE guidance. Further evolution in cost-effectiveness estimates is possible particularly if there are changes in drug prices.
    Age and Ageing 11/2012;
  • Source
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    ABSTRACT: Nilotinib and dasatinib are now being considered as alternative treatments to imatinib as a first-line treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). This technology assessment reviews the available evidence for the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of dasatinib, nilotinib and standard-dose imatinib for the first-line treatment of Philadelphia chromosome-positive CML. Databases [including MEDLINE (Ovid), EMBASE, Current Controlled Trials, ClinicalTrials.gov, the US Food and Drug Administration website and the European Medicines Agency website] were searched from search end date of the last technology appraisal report on this topic in October 2002 to September 2011. A systematic review of clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness studies; a review of surrogate relationships with survival; a review and critique of manufacturer submissions; and a model-based economic analysis. Two clinical trials (dasatinib vs imatinib and nilotinib vs imatinib) were included in the effectiveness review. Survival was not significantly different for dasatinib or nilotinib compared with imatinib with the 24-month follow-up data available. The rates of complete cytogenetic response (CCyR) and major molecular response (MMR) were higher for patients receiving dasatinib than for those with imatinib for 12 months' follow-up (CCyR 83% vs 72%, p < 0.001; MMR 46% vs 28%, p < 0.0001). The rates of CCyR and MMR were higher for patients receiving nilotinib than for those receiving imatinib for 12 months' follow-up (CCyR 80% vs 65%, p < 0.001; MMR 44% vs 22%, p < 0.0001). An indirect comparison analysis showed no difference between dasatinib and nilotinib for CCyR or MMR rates for 12 months' follow-up (CCyR, odds ratio 1.09, 95% CI 0.61 to 1.92; MMR, odds ratio 1.28, 95% CI 0.77 to 2.16). There is observational association evidence from imatinib studies supporting the use of CCyR and MMR at 12 months as surrogates for overall all-cause survival and progression-free survival in patients with CML in chronic phase. In the cost-effectiveness modelling scenario, analyses were provided to reflect the extensive structural uncertainty and different approaches to estimating OS. First-line dasatinib is predicted to provide very poor value for money compared with first-line imatinib, with deterministic incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of between £256,000 and £450,000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). Conversely, first-line nilotinib provided favourable ICERs at the willingness-to-pay threshold of £20,000-30,000 per QALY. Immaturity of empirical trial data relative to life expectancy, forcing either reliance on surrogate relationships or cumulative survival/treatment duration assumptions. From the two trials available, dasatinib and nilotinib have a statistically significant advantage compared with imatinib as measured by MMR or CCyR. Taking into account the treatment pathways for patients with CML, i.e. assuming the use of second-line nilotinib, first-line nilotinib appears to be more cost-effective than first-line imatinib. Dasatinib was not cost-effective if decision thresholds of £20,000 per QALY or £30,000 per QALY were used, compared with imatinib and nilotinib. Uncertainty in the cost-effectiveness analysis would be substantially reduced with better and more UK-specific data on the incidence and cost of stem cell transplantation in patients with chronic CML. The Health Technology Assessment Programme of the National Institute for Health Research.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 11/2012; 16(42):1-277.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Spasticity is common in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and is a major contributor to disability. Sativex®, an oromucosal spray containing cannabis-based medicinal products, has been found to be effective in reducing spasticity symptoms. Objective: Our objective was to estimate the cost effectiveness of Sativex® plus oral anti-spasticity medicines compared with the current standard treatment for moderate or severe spasticity in MS in the UK. Methods: A Markov model was used to assess the costs and benefits of Sativex® plus oral anti-spasticity medicines or current standard treatment based on their effects on the quality of life of patients. The main outcome was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) in terms of costs per additional QALY gained over 5 years of treatment. One-way, multi-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted to explore the impact of uncertainties on the findings. Results: In the base case, Sativex® plus oral anti-spasticity medicines resulted in incremental costs of £7600 and a QALY gain of 0.15 per person over 5 years (ICER = £49 300 per QALY) [year 2009 data for costs]. Findings were sensitive to the costs of Sativex® (price and dose) and differences in utilities between responders and non-responders. Conclusions: Using a willingness-to-pay threshold of £30 000 per QALY, Sativex® appears unlikely to be considered cost effective by UK funders of healthcare for spasticity in MS. This is unfortunate, since it appears that Sativex® use is likely to benefit some patients in the management of this common consequence of MS.
    PharmacoEconomics 10/2012;
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background:  In the UK approximately 10,000 people have cochlear implants, more than 99% with a unilateral implant. Evidence shows that adults implanted bilaterally may benefit from binaural advantages; however, systematic review evidence is limited. Objectives of the review:  To conduct a systematic review to discover the evidence for effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of using bilateral cochlear implants in adults with severe to profound hearing loss by comparing their effectiveness with unilateral cochlear implantation or unilateral cochlear implantation and acoustic hearing aid in the contralateral ear. Type of review:  Systematic review. Search strategy:  This examined 16 electronic databases, plus bibliographies and references for published and unpublished studies. Evaluation method:  Abstracts were independently assessed against inclusion criteria by two researchers, disagreements were resolved. Selected papers were then retrieved and further independently assessed in a similar way. Included studies had their data extracted by one reviewer and checked by another. Results:  Searches yielded 2,892 abstracts producing 19 includable studies. Heterogeneity between studies precluded meta-analysis. However, all studies reported that bilateral cochlear implants improved hearing and speech perception: one RCT found a significant binaural benefit over the first ear alone for speech and noise from the front (12.6±5.4%, p<0.001), and when noise was ipsilateral to the first ear (21±6%, p<0.001); and, another found a significant benefit for spatial hearing at three and nine months post-implantation compared with pre-implantation [mean difference (SD) scores: three months = 1.46 (0.83-2.09), p<0.01).Quality of life results varied, showing bilateral implantation may improve quality of life in the absence of worsening tinnitus. Limited cost-effectiveness evidence showed that bilateral implantation is probably only cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold above £62,000 per QALY. Conclusions:  Despite inconsistency in the quality of available evidence, the robustness of systematic review methods gives weight to the positive findings of included studies demonstrating that bilateral implantation is clinically effective in adults but unlikely to be cost-effective. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
    Clinical otolaryngology: official journal of ENT-UK; official journal of Netherlands Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology & Cervico-Facial Surgery 08/2012;
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