Background: The UK Health Technology Assessment (HTA) program funds trials that address issues of clinical and cost-effectiveness to meet the needs of the National Health Service (NHS). The objective of this review was to systematically assess the methods of resource use data collection and costing; and to produce a best practice guide for data capture within economic analyses alongside clinical trials.
Methods: All 100 HTA-funded primary research papers published to June 2009 were reviewed for the health economic methods employed. Data were extracted and summarized by: health technology assessed, costing perspective adopted, evidence of planning and piloting, data collection method, frequency of data collection, and sources of unit cost data.
Results: Ninety-five studies were identified as having conducted an economic analysis, of which 85 recorded patient-level resource use. The review identified important differences in how data are collected. These included: a priori evidence of analysts having identified important cost drivers; the piloting and validation of patient-completed resource use questionnaires; choice of costing perspective; and frequency of data collection. Areas of commonality included: the extensive use of routine medical records and reliance on patient recall; and the use of standard sources of unit costs.
Conclusion: Economic data collection is variable, even among a homogeneous selection of trials designed to meet the needs of a common organization (NHS). Areas for improvement have been identified, and based on our findings and related reviews and guidelines, a checklist is proposed for good practice relating to economic data collection within clinical trials.
© 2010, International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).