Objectives: The aim of this study is to analyze the quality and transferability issues reported in published peer-reviewed English-language economic evaluations based in healthcare settings of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) and former Soviet countries.
Methods: A systematic search of economic evaluations of healthcare interventions was performed for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. The included studies were assessed according to their characteristics, quality (using Drummond's checklist), use of local data, and the transferability of inputs and results, if addressed.
Results: Most of the thirty-four economic evaluations identified were conducted from a healthcare or payer perspective (74 percent), with 47 percent of studies focusing on infectious diseases. The least frequently and transparently addressed parameters were the items' stated perspectives, relevant costs included, accurately measured costs in appropriate units, outcomes and costs credibly valued, and uncertainties addressed. Local data were often used to assess unit costs, baseline risk, and resource usage, while jurisdiction-specific utilities were included in only one study. Only 32 percent of relevant studies discussed the limitations of using foreign data, and 36 percent of studies discussed the transferability of their own study results to other jurisdictions.
Conclusions: Transferability of the results is not sufficiently discussed in published economic evaluations. To simplify the transferability of studies to other jurisdictions, the following should be comprehensively addressed: uncertainty, impact of influential parameters, and data transferability. The transparency of reporting should be improved.
Keywords: Cost effectiveness; Developing countries; Review.