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Methodology of economic appraisal of health technology

Objective

The general aim of the project was to improve the range and quality of economic appraisals of health technology within the EC, with particular relevance to their usefulness to decision makers. The specific project objectives were:

(i) to improve the methodological quality of studies that are carried out, by outlining methodological standards and by assessing studies against these;
(ii) to help decision makers to appreciate the relevance of economic appraisal, to encourage them to use appraisal results and to commission or participate in further studies;
(iii) to increase the integration between economic appraisal and other components of health technology assessment, such as biomedical engineering, clinical research and assessments carried out by industry.
Research was carried out in order to improve the range and quality of economic appraisals of health technology within the European Community (EC), with particular relevance to their usefulness to decision makers. The main activities comprised the establishment of a current awareness network (for economic appraisal of health technology in the EC), 3 subprojects on particular technologies (lasers in medicine, open heart surgery and prenatal screening), a study of the role of economic appraisal in developing policy for health technology and the production of handbooks for key decision makers.

It was found that significant progress had been made in the methodology and practice of economic appraisal of health technology in the EC, with approximately 100 studies completed, of which 20% had an impact on decision making. Several general methodological principles were established, although a number of specific methodological issues require further investigation. The Concerted Action greatly increased the understanding of the role of economic appraisal in developing policy for health technology. However, further efforts are required to forge closer links between economic evaluation and decision making about health technologies.
In order to achieve the stated objectives, the project was organised in six main components:

(i) Establishment of a current awareness network (for economic appraisal of health technology) in the EC.
(ii) Sub-project on lasers in medicine (as an example of evolving health technology).
(iii) Sub-project on open heart surgery (as an example of synthesis of evidence about health technology).
(iv) Sub-project on pre-natal screening (as an example of reviewing well-established technology).
(v) Study of the role of economic appraisal in developing policy for health technology.
(vi) Production of handbooks for key decision makers.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF YORK
Address
Heslington
Y010500 York
United Kingdom