Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment: Perspectives from Australia and New Zealand
Department of Critical Care Medicine, Auckland District Health Board, 2 Park Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023, New Zealand.Critical care clinics (Impact Factor: 2.16). 01/2012; 28(1):125-33, vii. DOI: 10.1016/j.ccc.2011.10.008
Formal health economics and health technology assessment (HTA)processes, including cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis, are variably used to inform decisions about public and private health service funding and service provision. In general, pharmaceuticals have been subject to more sophisticated health economic analyses and HTAs and for a longer time than either devices or procedures. HTA has been performed by a number of different entities. While HTA shares many common features across the world, its uses, approaches, applications,and impact differ throughout the world. This article will discuss some of the general attributes of HTA and will focus on its specific applications in Australia and New Zealand.
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ABSTRACT: Economic evaluation is established within health-technology assessment but is challenged by those wanting to use economic evaluation to inform pricing and/or incorporate nontraditional sources of value and the views of diverse stakeholders. The changing role of economic evaluation in (formally or informally) assessing prices/values in four jurisdictions (UK, Australia, Germany and USA) is detailed and the authors propose a taxonomy of factors impacting the value of medical technology spanning clinical utility (effectiveness, safety/tolerability and quality of evidence), consumer demand (consumer preferences, process utility and unmet need), economic incentives (innovation, option value and market competition) and the societal perspective (social justice, social values and national interest). The authors suggest that multicriteria decision analysis methods grounded in hedonic-pricing theory can facilitate the valuing/pricing of medical technologies. The use of such an approach is hindered by a paucity of relevant educational opportunities, vested interests and aversion to placing prices/values on health.
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ABSTRACT: Publicly-funded drug plans vary in strategies used and policies employed to reduce continually increasing pharmaceutical expenditures. We systematically reviewed the utilization of cost-sharing strategies and physician-directed prescribing regulations in publicly-funded formularies within member nations of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Using the OECD nations as the sampling frame, a search for cost-sharing strategies and physician-directed prescribing regulations was done using published and grey literature. Collected data was verified by a system expert within the prescription drug insurance plan in each country, to ensure the accuracy of key data elements across plans. Significant variation in the use of cost-sharing mechanisms was seen. Copayments were the most commonly used cost-containment measure, though their use and amount varied for those with certain conditions, most often chronic diseases (in 17 countries), and by socio-economic status (either income or employment status), or with age (in 15 countries). Caps and deductibles were only used by five systems. Drug cost-containment strategies targeting physicians were also identified in 24 countries, including guideline-based prescribing, prescription monitoring and incentive structures. There was variable use of cost-containment strategies to limit pharmaceutical expenditures in publicly funded formularies within OECD countries. Further research is needed to determine the best approach to constrain costs while maintaining access to pharmaceutical drugs.
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