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Cost-Effectiveness of Drugs May Vary Across Borders
This research was conducted within and across multiple countries in Western Europe to assess the generalizability of the cost-effectiveness of new pharmaceuticals. While health results of clinical studies of drugs tend to be transferable from one area to the next, the cost-effectiveness of drugs is dependent on location. This information is becoming increasingly important to healthcare policy makers.
"Because the healthcare systems in different countries vary considerably, we shouldn't automatically assume that a new drug that gives good value for money in one country will do so an another," states Professor Michael Drummond, co-author of the study. Study results emphasized the fact that economic evaluations in one country give little basis on which to predict cost-effectiveness across borders.
Factors affecting the variations include demography and epidemiology of disease, difference in clinical practice patterns, and differences in relative prices cross-country. This variability is a particular concern for decision makers, those conducting economic studies and particularly pharmaceutical manufacturers, who may have to consider repeating studies in every possible setting.
Michael Drummond, BSc, MCom, DPhil, is Professor of Health and Economics and Director of the Centre for Health Economics at theUniversity of York.
Source: Value in Health