Pharmacoeconomic applications of meta-analysis for single groups using antifungal onychomycosis lacquers as an example

Clin Ther. May-Jun 1997;19(3):559-69; discussion 538-9. doi: 10.1016/s0149-2918(97)80140-3.


This paper presents a method for summarizing clinical success rates across studies or arms of studies. Topical lacquers for the treatment of onychomycosis are used to illustrate the approach. A modification of Cochran's method, later modified by Der-Simonian and Laird, is presented in a stepwise fashion. A summary point estimate weighted by both within- and between-study variance is produced, along with a 95% confidence interval. This method can be applied to any set of proportions. In the example, the success rate of ciclopirox lacquer was 81.6% (standard error, 3.5%) and of amorolfine lacquer was 71.4% (standard error, 2.3%). A stricter definition of success (ie, cure only) produced success rates of 31.3% (standard error, 2.4%) and 35.8% (standard error, 1.9%), respectively. This stepwise approach for combining single proportions is suggested as a useful method for summarizing success rates across different trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifungal Agents / economics*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Economics, Pharmaceutical*
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*
  • Onychomycosis / drug therapy*
  • Onychomycosis / economics*
  • Research Design


  • Antifungal Agents