Decision-making by healthcare payers
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Healthcare payers are faced with the need to allocate finite resources to maximize population health. To assist in decision-making, healthcare payers are increasingly using health outcomes information and economic analyses. Healthcare payers are often under pressure to make early decisions (around the time of product launch), when the evidence available is imperfect. They must also consider the equitable distribution of resources between therapeutic areas. Tools to help healthcare payers reach transparent and objective decisions include cost-utility analysis and decision modelling. In practice, healthcare payers in different countries (for example, Ireland, France and Canada) vary in the approaches taken to reimbursement and formulary listing decisions. The key to decision-making among healthcare payers is the provision of appropriate evidence, comparing any new treatment approach to current best practice, in situations corresponding to real life. When data assumptions have to be made, these should be clearly stated with consideration of the impact of varying the assumptions. The impact on budgets should also be considered.
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