Journal round-up: PharmacoEconomics 39(3)

Welcome to the first edition of the latest incarnation of our journal round-up format. We have abandoned our weekly fixed schedule. This is to provide greater flexibility for contributors and scope for an in-depth discussion of articles. Each journal round-up will summarise a single issue of a journal.

Our authors provide regular round-ups of the latest peer-reviewed journals. We cover all issues of major health economics journals as well as other notable releases. Visit our journal round-up log to see past editions organised by publication title. If you’d like to write a journal round-up, get in touch.

Since the dawn of the QALY, there have been several attempts to construct [insert]-adjusted life years. This issue of PharmacoEconomics opens with a commentary introducing the productivity-adjusted life year (the PALY, not to be confused with the PalY; the Palliative Care Yardstick). On the face of it, this makes sense. The value of any state of productivity might reasonably be expected to be additive in time. An index for productivity can be derived from one of several existing instruments. The authors propose that PALYs be an accompanying measure to QALYs and DALYs, used to quantify the impact of a disease. It worries me that such a measure could be used to justify the prioritisation of investments for those who are most productive as opposed to those who most need health care. On the other hand, it would be useful to measure productivity in a generalisable way across settings.

This issue includes several applied studies, though none that are of special interest to me. There are economic evaluations of antiretroviral regimens for HIV in Cameroon and erenumab for migraine prevention in Sweden. There’s also a budget impact analysis of oral semaglutide for type 2 diabetes in the US, based on the CORE Diabetes Model. A systematic review identifies 22 model-based economic evaluations of respiratory syncytial virus immunisation and describes various potentially cost-effective strategies for various settings.

A Practical Application article in this issue relates to a topic that interests me; transparency in research. The article introduces the potential value of common data models for the analysis of real-world data for HTA. Specifically, the authors describe the open-source Observational and Medical Outcomes Partnerships (OMOP) common data model, which has been used in Europe. Essentially, the OMOP involves the standardisation of data structures and coding practices that can support the sharing of analyses without having to share patient data. Such approaches are increasingly common in analyses that inform regulatory decision-making, but they haven’t been given much attention in the HTA community. The authors would like us to pay more attention to groups already working on the interoperability of observational data for purposes other than HTA. These include the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) community and the European Health Data and Evidence Network (EHDEN). We have much to learn.

Finally, the issue includes a methodological study testing the predictive accuracy of alternative extrapolation methods for survival in advanced renal cell carcinoma, and a letter about submissions to the Pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR).


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  • Founder of the Academic Health Economists' Blog. Principal Economist at the Office of Health Economics. ORCID: 0000-0001-9470-2369

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