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Estimating the marginal value of 'better' research output: 'designed' versus 'routine' data in randomised controlled trials

Listed author(s):
  • David Cohen

    (School of Care Sciences, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd CF37 1DL, UK)

  • Mirella F Longo

    (School of Care Sciences, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd CF37 1DL, UK)

  • John Williams

    (Centre for Postgraduate Studies, Swansea Clinical School, University of Wales, Swansea, UK)

  • Wai-yee Cheung

    (Centre for Postgraduate Studies, Swansea Clinical School, University of Wales, Swansea, UK)

  • Hayley Hutchings

    (Centre for Postgraduate Studies, Swansea Clinical School, University of Wales, Swansea, UK)

  • I.T. Russell

    (Institute for Medical and Social Care, University of Wales, Bangor, UK)

Registered author(s):

    We recently completed a study which demonstrated that the costs of health technology assessment (HTA) by randomised controlled trial (RCT) can be reduced by substituting routine datasets for data designed and collected specifically for a trial. This cost reduction, however, had the effect of reducing the quality of the research output. In the present study we attempted to tease out the values attached to the 'better' information provided by designed data RCTs using a mock grants committee. Two valuation techniques, implied values and willingness to pay, were used. Ex ante valuations were determined by comparing alternative research proposals - a more costly version using designed data and a cheaper version using routine data. Ex post valuations were determined by comparing results of both versions. The exercise was performed on four exemplar studies. Overall, the committee expressed a general lack of trust towards routine data both ex ante and ex post and placed high values on the better information from the designed data studies - particularly information on preferences. This suggests that currently available routine datasets are not perceived to be able to provide efficient alternatives to designed data for RCTs. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 11 ()
    Pages: 959-974

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:12:y:2003:i:11:p:959-974
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.791
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

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    1. K. Claxton & P. J. Neumannn & S. S. Araki & M. C. Weinstein, "undated". "Bayesian Value-of-Information Analysis: An Application to a Policy Model of Alzheimer's Disease," Discussion Papers 00/39, Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Cam Donaldson & Ruth Thomas & David Torgerson, 1997. "Validity of open-ended and payment scale approaches to eliciting willingness to pay," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 79-84.
    3. Sugden, Robert & Williams, Alan, 1978. "The Principles of Practical Cost-Benefit Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198770411.
    4. Shogren, Jason F. & Seung Y. Shin & Dermot J. Hayes & James B. Kliebenstein, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 255-270, March.
    5. Johannesson, Magnus & Jonsson, Bengt, 1991. "Economic evaluation in health care: Is there a role for cost-benefit analysis?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-23, February.
    6. Drummond, Michael F. & Davies, Linda M. & Ferris, Frederick L., 1992. "Assessing the costs and benefits of medical research: The diabetic retinopathy study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 973-981, May.
    7. Phil Shackley & Simon Dixon, 2000. "Using contingent valuation to elicit public preferences for water fluoridation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(6), pages 777-787.
    8. Cohen, David R., 1995. "Messages from Mid Glamorgan: a multi-programme experiment with marginal analysis," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 147-155, August.
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