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This issue of Value in Health contains four papers in a themed section on COVID-19, two systematic literature reviews, eleven further papers reporting research findings on a range of topics, and a brief report on the cost-effectiveness evidence associated with the quality measures for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The first paper in the COVID-19 section used an online survey in May 2020 to estimate vaccine uptake rates, and found that focusing on vaccine cost alone would not be enough to reach herd immunity in the US. Given the current levels of COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the US right now, it seems that these findings were correct. The authors conclude that more evidence is needed on how to incentivize participation among those who are not concerned about their risk of infection. The next paper was a systematic review of economic evaluations of COVID-19 policy measures from March 2021. A study from the United Kingdom built an individual simulation model in Excel to forecast resources needed with only a few local inputs, with the aim of helping health authorities understand expected resource needs, such as critical care beds. The final COVID-19 study assessed the change in self-reported global health during the pandemic for 38,037 patients receiving care in the US compared with one year earlier. The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Global Health (PROMIS GH) was used for this study, finding modest decreases in global mental health while global physical health remained unchanged. While these are all interesting studies, I wonder how useful they’ll be to inform policy and decision making at this point in the pandemic.
The first systematic review investigated what instruments have been used for measuring productivity losses for paid and unpaid work, finding 42 unique instruments. While many instruments were available, the study went on to assess the suitability of these instruments, finding that most were not suitable for capturing the data needed for use in economic evaluations from a societal perspective. The second systematic review was on methods for costing essential health service packages. The review found it was challenging to make comparisons across countries because of substantial differences in the costing methods and reporting standards, suggesting more methodological guidance was needed to allow this in the future.
The remaining eleven studies ranged from comparative effectiveness, to economic evaluations of treatments for multiple sclerosis and stroke, to three papers on preference–based assessments, and to a mapping of the EQ-5D-3L to both the EQ-5D-5L and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Utility Measure-Core 10 Dimensions (QLU-C10D).
Methodological papers included challenges for assessing the value of gene therapy for hemophilia, a simulation study to assess the performance of models with and without a cure fraction, and a comparison of finite mixture models and common survival models regarding how well they fit heterogeneous data used to estimate mean survival times required for cost-effectiveness analysis.