Converting condition-specific measures into preference-based outcomes for use in economic evaluation

Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2008 Oct;8(5):453-61. doi: 10.1586/14737167.8.5.453.


Quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) play an important role in reimbursement decisions when one of the criteria is the cost-effectiveness of the health technology. While for many generic QALYs (e.g., based on the EQ-5D) are viewed as the gold standard, there has been a considerable increase in interest in using condition-specific data to generate QALYs. There are two main methods: mapping from the condition-specific data to a generic health-related quality of life measure; and direct valuation of condition-specific health states. Whether one believes condition-specific data are useful even if generic QALY data are available, or simply that condition-specific data are helpful in the absence of generic measures of health-related quality of life, it is timely to review recent research activity directed at making greater use of condition-specific data to inform assessments of cost-effectiveness.