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Methodological Issues in Economic Evaluations Submitted to the Pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR)


BACKGROUND:Public drug plans are faced with increasingly difficult funding decisions. In Canada, the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) makes funding recommendations to the provincial and territorial drug plans responsible for cancer drugs. Assessments of the economic models submitted by pharmaceutical manufacturers are publicly reported. OBJECTIVES:The main objective of this research was to identify recurring methodological issues in economic models submitted to pCODR for funding reviews. The secondary objective was to explore whether there exists any observed relationships between reported methodological issues and funding recommendations made by pCODR's expert review committee. METHODS:Publicly available Economic Guidance Reports from July 2011 (inception) until June 2014 for drug reviews with a final funding recommendation (N = 34) were independently examined by two authors. Major methodological issues from each review were abstracted and grouped into nine main categories. Each issue was also categorized based on perception of the reviewer's actions to manage it. RESULTS:The most commonly reported issues involved costing (59% of reviews), time horizon (56%), and model structure (36%). Several types of issues were identified that usually could not be resolved, such as quality of clinical data or uncertainty with indirect comparisons. Issues with costing or choice of utility estimates could usually be addressed or explored by reviewers. No statistically significant relationship was found between any methodological issue and funding recommendations from the expert review committee. CONCLUSIONS:The findings provide insights that can be used by parties who submit or review economic evidence for continuous improvement and consistency in economic modeling, reporting, and decision making.

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