Health economics evaluations are important to document “value for money” of interventions and treatment policies in rheumatology. High quality evaluations are conducted alongside clinical trials with the additional collection of data on health economic outcomes (e.g. survival and health-related quality of life) and resource use associated with the interventions and derived from outcomes of the interventions. Sometimes it is relevant to extend the description of outcomes and resource use beyond the time frame of the clinical trial in so called “modelling studies”. Both type evaluations requires an number of assumptions and simplifications in order to describe the cost-effectiveness.
In his presentation I will discuss some of the challanges relating to economic evaluations based on clinical trials. These include the problems of “piggy-bagging” onto clinical trials with a limited time frame and often small sample sizes that are calibrated to detect difference in clinical measures but rarely to detect differences in resource use and cost. Also the analysis of outcomes and costs that are correlated impose analytical challanges.
It is important that economic evaluations are conducted in systematic and transparent ways in order to addresse key features of the decision problem. Studies with non-transparent analyses may be difficult for decision makers to understand and use in their work, and may therefore not offer sufficient and reliable evidence for decision making about wither to inctroduce or abandon the analysed interventions.
Disclosure of Interest None declared