Cost-effectiveness panel issues new guidelines

Two decades ago the U.S. Public Health Service convened a panel of non-government scientists and scholars with expertise in economics, clinical medicine, ethics, and statistics to review the state of cost-effectiveness analysis and to develop recommendations for its use in health and medicine. Cost-effectiveness analysis is a form of economic analysis designed to help clinicians, researchers, and other health care decision-makers compare the costs and outcomes of choosing different diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive strategies.

Much has changed in the field of cost-effectiveness analysis and the need to deliver health care efficiently has only increased since the 1996 Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine made its recommendations. So a new panel was appointed and published its updated guidelines in the September 13, 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

“Over the last 20 years there’s been an explosion of information on the cost-effectiveness of medical and public health interventions—there are now hundreds of studies on cost-effectiveness published every year. But to provide useful inputs into healthcare decision making these studies need to be credible, comparable, and interpretable,” said Joshua Salomon, professor of global health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who was among the Second Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine members who updated the guidelines. “The aim of the panel was to develop concrete and specific recommendations to help analysts produce studies that adhere to high quality standards and to help supply decision makers with results that are most relevant and useful for the choices they need to make.”

Read coverage in Science Daily: New set of recommendations developed to improve quality of cost-effectiveness analyses

Read a statement: New Guidelines Enhance Evidence-based Health care

Read part of a JAMA editorial about the recommendations: The Next Chapter in Cost-effectiveness Analysis