Background: Decision makers in middle-income countries are using economic evaluations (EEs) in pricing and reimbursement decisions for pharmaceuticals. However, whilst many of these jurisdictions have local submission guidelines and local expertise, the studies themselves often use economic models developed elsewhere and elements of data from countries other than the jurisdiction concerned. The objectives of this study were to describe the current situation and to assess the challenges faced by decision makers in transferring data and analyses from other jurisdictions.
Methods: Experienced health service researchers in each region conducted an interview survey of representatives of decision making bodies from jurisdictions in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America that had at least 1 year's experience of using EEs.
Results: Representatives of the relevant organizations in twelve countries were interviewed. All twelve jurisdictions had developed official guidelines for the conduct of EEs. All but one of the organizations evaluated studies submitted to them, but 9 also conducted studies and 7 commissioned them. Nine of the organizations stated that, in evaluating EEs submitted to them, they had consulted a study performed in a different jurisdiction. Data on relevant treatment effect was generally considered more transferable than those on prices/unit costs. Views on the transferability of epidemiological data, data on resource use and health state preference values were more mixed. Eight of the respondents stated that analyses submitted to them had used models developed in other jurisdictions. Four of the organizations had a policy requiring models to be adapted to reflect local circumstances. The main obstacles to transferring EEs were the different patterns of care or wealth of the developed countries from which most economic evaluations originate.
Conclusions: In middle-income countries it is commonplace to deal with the issue of transferring analyses or data from other jurisdictions. Decision makers in these countries face several challenges, mainly due to differences in current standard of care, practice patterns, or gross domestic product between the developed countries where the majority of the studies are conducted and their own jurisdiction.
Keywords: Cost-effectiveness analysis; Health technologies; Reimbursement.