IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • 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)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • David Cohen & Mirella F Longo & John Williams & Wai-yee Cheung & Hayley Hutchings & I.T. Russell, 2003. "Estimating the marginal value of 'better' research output: 'designed' versus 'routine' data in randomised controlled trials," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(11), pages 959-974.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:12:y:2003:i:11:p:959-974
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.791

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Sugden, Robert & Williams, Alan, 1978. "The Principles of Practical Cost-Benefit Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198770411.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:12:y:2003:i:11:p:959-974. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.