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Posted on Apr 21, 2005, 6 a.m.
By Bill Freeman
This research was conducted within and across multiple countries in Western Europe to assess the generalizability of the cost-effectiveness of new pharmaceuticals. While health results of clinical studies of drugs tend to be transferable from one area to the next, the cost-effectiveness of drugs is dependent on location.
"Because the healthcare systems in different countries vary considerably, we shouldn't automatically assume that a new drug that gives good value for money in one country will do so an another," states Professor Michael Drummond, co-author of the study. Study results emphasized the fact that economic evaluations in one country give little basis on which to predict cost-effectiveness across borders.
Factors affecting the variations include demography and epidemiology of disease, difference in clinical practice patterns, and differences in relative prices cross-country. This variability is a particular concern for decision makers, those conducting economic studies and particularly pharmaceutical manufacturers, who may have to consider repeating studies in every possible setting.