For citation purposes: Ramaekers B, Grutters J, Joore M. Acknowledging patient heterogeneity in health technology assessment. OA Epidemiology 2014 Feb 10;2(1):3.

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Acknowledging patient heterogeneity in health technology assessment

B Ramaekers, J Grutters, M Joore
 

Authors affiliations

(1) Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Medical Technology Assessment (KEMTA), Maastricht University Medical Center, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ, Maastricht, The Netherlands

(2) Departments for Health Evidence & Operating Rooms, St. Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

* Corresponding author Email: bram.ramaekers@mumc.nl

Abstract

Introduction

Patients often respond differently to identical treatments despite a similar diagnosis. Therefore, treatments in health care are increasingly tailored to individual patients. Nevertheless, this patient heterogeneity is often ignored in economic evaluations and hence in policy decisions based on these economic evaluations; whereas, this could potentially lead to a more effective and/or more efficient health care. This paper focuses on the role of patient heterogeneity in economic evaluation. One frequently mentioned barrier to acknowledging patient heterogeneity is a lack of suitable data. This could be overcome through an integrated modelling approach or on the longer term through risk-sharing agreements.

Conclusion

We have illustrated that it is feasible and informative to acknowledge patient heterogeneity in economic evaluation. One frequently mentioned barrier to acknowledging patient heterogeneity, a lack of clinical data, can be overcome by an integrated model using dose-response models or over a longer period of time by risk-sharing agreements and/or ‘open data’ policy for scientific journals.

Licensee OA Publishing London 2014. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)
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