New recommendations for design, conduct of osteoporosis-specific economic evaluations

Economic evaluations that compare interventions in terms of costs and outcomes are increasingly used by decision makers, with economic evaluations now playing an increasing role in pricing and reimbursement decisions.

In the field of osteoporosis, the number of economic evaluations has increased markedly, however the variable quality and considerable heterogeneity of the evaluations often limit their comparability and use by decision makers.

To address this handicap, an expert working group convened by the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (ESCEO) and the US Branch of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), met at a consensus meeting to establish recommendations for the design and conduct of economic evaluations in osteoporosis, as well as guidance for reporting these evaluations. Additionally, a set of minimum criteria for evaluations and an osteoporosis-specific checklist of items to incorporate in economic reports were established.

Download Recommendations for the conduct of economic evaluations in osteoporosis: outcomes of an Experts' consensus meeting.

Lead author Dr Mickael Hiligsmann, Associate Professor in Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment at CAPHRI Care and Public Health Research Institute of Maastricht University, stated: "Although disease-specific recommendations for economic evaluations have been developed in other disease areas previously, this study is to our knowledge the first that provides a list of recommendations and minimum requirements for the design, conduct and reporting of an osteoporosis-specific economic evaluation. The recommendations are intended for researchers in the field of osteoporosis, as well as to help decision makers, reviewers and editors assess the quality of economic studies."

He added: "These osteoporosis-specific recommendations should be viewed as supplemental to general and national guidelines for economic evaluations. We encourage health economists and researchers in the field to make use of the recommendations and thereby to improve the transparency and comparability of their work. By promoting high-quality methodology standards, we hope to increase the use of economic evaluations by decision makers - which ultimately should lead to a more effective allocation of resources to our patients with osteoporosis."

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