Objectives: Despite the growing number of pharmacoeconomic (PE)/health economic (HE) studies, very little is known about their use by decision makers. The objectives of the Task Force were to ensure that the good research practices of PE/HE studies pay attention to the needs of health-care decision makers and to develop a "toolbox" for the health-care decision maker wanting to interpret and use PE/HE studies.
Methods: The membership of the Task Force consisted of individuals involved in making decisions about the availability or use of medicines and researchers into the use of economic evaluations. The group communicated by E-mail and face-to-face meetings. A literature review of decision makers' attitudes toward PE/HE studies and published economic evaluation guidelines was undertaken. In addition, a focus group discussion was held with opinion leaders in managed care pharmacy.
Results: The literature review identified 16 surveys of decision makers' attitudes toward PE/HE studies and 15 published guidelines that outlined reporting requirements for economic evaluations. These were reviewed and classified. Based on the published literature and comments from decision makers, seven additional reporting requirements for studies were specified.
Conclusions: While the Task Force's additional reporting requirements may be helpful to decision makers, they raise a number of issues. These include the feasibility of meeting the additional requirements, whether decision makers should receive more education in economic evaluation, and whether there should be more study of health-care decision-making procedures themselves.