The growing number of multinational clinical trials in which patient-level health care resource data are collected have raised the issue of which is the best approach for making inference for individual countries with respect to the between-treatment difference in mean cost. We describe and discuss the relative merits of three approaches. The first uses the random effects pooled estimate from all countries to estimate the difference for any particular country. The second approach estimates the difference using only the data from the specific country in question. Using empirical Bayes estimation a third approach estimates the country-specific difference using a variance-weighted linear sum of the estimates provided by the other two approaches. The approaches are illustrated and compared using the data from the ASSENT-3 trial.
Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.