An Evidence Framework for Off-Patent Pharmaceutical Review for Health Technology Assessment in Emerging Markets

Value Health Reg Issues. 2018 Sep;16:9-13. doi: 10.1016/j.vhri.2018.01.003. Epub 2018 Mar 30.


Objective: This article introduces an Evidence Framework for Off-Patent Pharmaceutical Review (EFOR), which establishes value-based criteria in a template that manufacturers use to provide evidence showing how their products meet those criteria. Health authorities in emerging markets can then use the evidence presented in the EFOR to evaluate off-patent pharmaceuticals (OPPs) in a consistent, transparent, and evidence-based manner to support policy decisions, including pricing, reimbursement, formulary listing, and drug procurement.

Methods: A literature search found no multi-criteria evidence framework for evaluating OPPs in emerging markets. An International Outcomes Research Board (IORB) of academia and industry experts conducted extensive research, meetings, and workshops to define high-priority criteria to incorporate into an evidence-based health technology assessment (HTA) tool using the multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) technique. The resulting framework was further tailored for country-specific needs in workshops in three emerging countries (Kazakhstan, Vietnam, and Indonesia).

Results: The IORB defined nine criteria four categories (Product, Manufacturing, Service, and Value Assessment), which OPP manufacturers can use to provide evidence for reimbursement and health policy decision making. Then the IORB developed the EFOR as a base case document, which can be adapted and used as a template by health authorities in emerging countries.

Conclusions: Emerging countries have a significant need for an HTA tool that balances affordability with accurate evidence showing the value differentiation of OPPs. The value attributes in this setting often are different from those in developed markets, which emphasize new products and have high regulation and manufacturing standards. The EFOR is an easy-to-use, adaptable framework that emerging countries can use to increase the consistency, transparency, and effectiveness of drug decision making. The open source EFOR is available as Supplemental Materials.

Keywords: EFOR; MCDA; dossier; emerging markets; evidence framework; generic pharmaceuticals; health technology assessment; multi-criteria decision analysis; off-patent pharmaceuticals.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Developing Countries
  • Drug Costs
  • Drugs, Generic / standards
  • Drugs, Generic / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / economics*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / standards*


  • Drugs, Generic