To design a tool to assist clinician participation with cancer drug funding decisions. Public policy-makers and insurers are struggling with funding decisions regarding increasingly expensive new cancer drugs. Increasingly, oncologists are contributing to the process of review that leads to such decisions. We were asked to design a system for ranking new cancer drugs for priority-based funding decisions.
The “Accountability for Reasonableness” framework informed the design of a six-module multistakeholder decision process blending evidence-based traditional technology assessment methods with individual and cultural values elicitation. The tool was piloted in three settings: (1) videotaped simulated multistakeholder deliberation sessions; (2) clinical oncology leaders; and (3) a regional (Canadian provincial) pharmacy and therapeutics committee making formulary decisions. The modules involve: decision clarification, drug eligibility screening (filtering), clinical performance scoring index, cost modeling, data integration and values clarification, and process evaluation.
The tool was feasible to use, acceptable to participants, and able to rank candidate drugs. The pharmacy and therapeutics committee with whom it was tested used the tool as a part of their deliberations, and the tumor group leaders requested its incorporation into organization-based decision making.
The decision tool can facilitate priority-based cancer drug funding decisions that meet the conditions of fairness as perceived by participants, including oncologists.