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Examining the Feasibility and Utility of Estimating Partial Expected Value of Perfect Information (via a Nonparametric Approach) as Part of the Reimbursement Decision-Making Process in Ireland: Application to Drugs for Cancer


  • Laura McCullagh

    () (Trinity College Dublin
    St James’s Hospital)

  • Susanne Schmitz

    (St James’s Hospital
    Luxembourg Institute of Health)

  • Michael Barry

    (Trinity College Dublin
    St James’s Hospital)

  • Cathal Walsh

    (University of Limerick)


Background In Ireland, all new drugs for which reimbursement by the healthcare payer is sought undergo a health technology assessment by the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics. The National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics estimate expected value of perfect information but not partial expected value of perfect information (owing to computational expense associated with typical methodologies). Objective The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility and utility of estimating partial expected value of perfect information via a computationally efficient, non-parametric regression approach. Methods This was a retrospective analysis of evaluations on drugs for cancer that had been submitted to the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (January 2010 to December 2014 inclusive). Drugs were excluded if cost effective at the submitted price. Drugs were excluded if concerns existed regarding the validity of the applicants’ submission or if cost-effectiveness model functionality did not allow required modifications to be made. For each included drug (n = 14), value of information was estimated at the final reimbursement price, at a threshold equivalent to the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio at that price. The expected value of perfect information was estimated from probabilistic analysis. Partial expected value of perfect information was estimated via a non-parametric approach. Input parameters with a population value at least €1 million were identified as potential targets for research. Results All partial estimates were determined within minutes. Thirty parameters (across nine models) each had a value of at least €1 million. These were categorised. Collectively, survival analysis parameters were valued at €19.32 million, health state utility parameters at €15.81 million and parameters associated with the cost of treating adverse effects at €6.64 million. Those associated with drug acquisition costs and with the cost of care were valued at €6.51 million and €5.71 million, respectively. Conclusion This research demonstrates that the estimation of partial expected value of perfect information via this computationally inexpensive approach could be considered feasible as part of the health technology assessment process for reimbursement purposes within the Irish healthcare system. It might be a useful tool in prioritising future research to decrease decision uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura McCullagh & Susanne Schmitz & Michael Barry & Cathal Walsh, 2017. "Examining the Feasibility and Utility of Estimating Partial Expected Value of Perfect Information (via a Nonparametric Approach) as Part of the Reimbursement Decision-Making Process in Ireland: Applic," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 35(11), pages 1177-1185, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:pharme:v:35:y:2017:i:11:d:10.1007_s40273-017-0552-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s40273-017-0552-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bas Groot Koerkamp & M. G. Myriam Hunink & Theo Stijnen & Milton C. Weinstein, 2006. "Identifying key parameters in cost‐effectiveness analysis using value of information: a comparison of methods," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 383-392, April.
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