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Public health policy decisions on medical innovations: What role can early economic evaluation play?


  • Susanne Hartz

    () (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Department of Microeconomics)

  • Jürgen John

    (Helmholtz Center Munich and National Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Health Economics and Healthcare Management)


Objectives: Our contribution aims to explore the different ways in which early economic data can inform public health policy decisions on new medical technologies. Methods: A broad explorative literature research was conducted to detect methodological contributions covering the health policy perspective. Results: Early economic data on new technologies can support public health policy decisions in several ways. Embedded in horizon scanning and HTA activities, it adds to monitoring and assessment of innovations. It can play a role in the control of technology diffusion by informing coverage and reimbursement decisions as well as the direct public promotion of health care technologies, leading to increased efficiency. Major problems include the uncertainty related to economic data at early stages as well as the timing of the evaluation of an innovation. Conclusions: Decision-makers can benefit from the information supplied by early economic data, but the actual use in practice is difficult to determine. Further empirical evidence should be gathered, while the use could be promoted by further standardization.

Suggested Citation

  • Susanne Hartz & Jürgen John, 2007. "Public health policy decisions on medical innovations: What role can early economic evaluation play?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-095, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-095

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Drummond, Michael F. & Sculpher, Mark J. & Torrance, George W. & O'Brien, Bernie J. & Stoddart, Greg L., 2005. "Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 3, number 9780198529453.
    2. Banta, David, 2003. "The development of health technology assessment," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 121-132, February.
    3. Ernst R. Berndt & Rachel Glennerster & Michael R. Kremer & Jean Lee & Ruth Levine & Georg Weizsäcker & Heidi Williams, 2007. "Advance market commitments for vaccines against neglected diseases: estimating costs and effectiveness," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 491-511, May.
    4. McDaid, David & Cookson, Richard AU -, 2003. "Evaluating health care interventions in the European Union," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 133-139, February.
    5. Banta, H. David & Vondeling, Hindrik, 1994. "Strategies for successful evaluation and policy-making toward health care technology on the move: The case of medical lasers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 1663-1674, June.
    6. Maynard, Alan & McDaid, David, 2003. "Evaluating health interventions: exploiting the potential," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 215-226, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maarten Ijzerman & Lotte Steuten, 2011. "Early assessment of medical technologies to inform product development and market access," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 9(5), pages 331-347, September.
    2. Mariola Zalewska, 2011. "Effectiveness of health care in the OECD and EU countries with the innovation factor taken into account (Efektywnosc w ochronie zdrowia w krajach OECD i UE z uwzglednieniem czynnika innowacyjnosci)," Problemy Zarzadzania, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 9(33), pages 42-61.
    3. Markiewicz, Katarzyna & van Til, Janine A. & Steuten, Lotte M.G. & IJzerman, Maarten J., 2016. "Commercial viability of medical devices using Headroom and return on investment calculation," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 338-346.
    4. Vogler, Sabine & Zimmermann, Nina & de Joncheere, Kees, 2016. "Policy interventions related to medicines: Survey of measures taken in European countries during 2010–2015," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(12), pages 1363-1377.
    5. W. Dominika Wranik & Liesl Gambold & Natasha Hanson & Adrian Levy, 2017. "The evolution of the cancer formulary review in Canada: Can centralization improve the use of economic evaluation?," International Journal of Health Planning and Management, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 232-260, April.
    6. Shavit, Oren, 2009. "Utilization of health technologies--Do not look where there is a light; shine your light where there is a need to look!: Relating national health goals with resource allocation decision-making; illust," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(2-3), pages 268-275, October.
    7. Gabriele Palozzi & Sandro Brunelli & Camilla Falivena, 2018. "Higher Sustainability and Lower Opportunistic Behaviour in Healthcare: A New Framework for Performing Hospital-Based Health Technology Assessment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(10), pages 1-19, October.

    More about this item


    economic evaluation; early data; innovation; public health policy decision-making;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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