Using value of information analysis to prioritise health research: some lessons from recent UK experience

Pharmacoeconomics. 2006;24(11):1055-68. doi: 10.2165/00019053-200624110-00003.


Decisions to adopt, reimburse or issue guidance on the use of health technologies are increasingly being informed by explicit cost-effectiveness analyses of the alternative interventions. Healthcare systems also invest heavily in research and development to support these decisions. However, the increasing transparency of adoption and reimbursement decisions, based on formal analysis, contrasts sharply with research prioritisation and commissioning. This is despite the fact that formal measures of the value of evidence generated by research are readily available. The results of two recent opportunities to apply value of information analysis to directly inform policy decisions about research priorities in the UK are presented. These include a pilot study for the UK National Co-ordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment (NCCHTA) and a pilot study for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). We demonstrate how these results can be used to address a series of policy questions, including: is further research required to support the use of a technology and, if so, what type of research would be most valuable? We also show how the results can be used to address other questions such as, which patient subgroups should be included in subsequent research, which comparators and endpoints should be included, and what length of follow up would be most valuable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making, Organizational*
  • Health Services Research / economics*
  • Information Systems*
  • United Kingdom