An innovative new methodology for evaluating the benefits of new medicines has been shown to be an effective support tool following tests by a team of researchers led by health economics and policy experts from the Department of Health Policy at LSE.
Escalating drug prices have resulted in numerous ways of evaluating treatments, many of which are partly based on intuition and guesswork – giving cause for concern that they could potentially result in misleading policy recommendations. At the same time, scarce resources, the rising demand for health services, ageing populations and technological advances threaten the financial sustainability of many health care systems and render efficient and fair resource allocation an essential but difficult task.
The Advance Value Framework, developed by Aris Angelis and Panos Kanavos of the Department of Health Policy and LSE Health, was tested in practice with decision-makers from different European drug evaluation bodies to measure the benefits of three new prostate cancer drugs. It enabled participants to reflect on certain value dimensions and incorporate these more explicitly in the deliberation process. This is the first comparative multiple-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) study of its kind eliciting the value preferences of different European drug evaluation bodies and comparing the results.
The study has just been published in Social Science & Medicine, a leading international health policy journal. It was funded by the European Commission’s programme for research.
The Advance Value Framework offers a holistic approach to value assessment of medicines and medical technologies and a decision support tool to decision-makers. The methodology builds on and improves similar value framework initiatives developed over the last few years by other professional health care organisations and research institutions.
Dr Angelis said: “The study demonstrates that the methodology applied has the prospects of acting as a support tool for transparent drug reimbursement decisions. Decision-makers participated in four decision conferences in which the value drivers of three prostate cancer drugs and their relative importance were elicited, followed by the analysis of the drugs’ value rankings.”
Dr Kanavos said: “Our research is a testament to the willingness by HTA bodies and health insurers to experiment with new tools that may prove useful in the assessment of value of new health technologies.”
To read the study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953619305908