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Health Economic Data in Reimbursement of New Medical Technologies: Importance of the Socio-Economic Burden as a Decision-Making Criterion

Health Economic Data in Reimbursement of New Medical Technologies: Importance of the Socio-Economic Burden as a Decision-Making Criterion

Frontiers in Pharmacology 7: 252

ISSN/ISBN: 1663-9812

PMID: 27582707

DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2016.00252

Assessment and appraisal of new medical technologies require a balance between the interests of different stakeholders. Final decision should take into account the societal value of new therapies. This perspective paper discusses the socio-economic burden of disease as a specific reimbursement decision-making criterion and calls for the inclusion of it as a counterbalance to the cost-effectiveness and budget impact criteria. Socio-economic burden is a decision-making criterion, accounting for diseases, for which the assessed medical technology is indicated. This indicator is usually researched through cost-of-illness studies that systematically quantify the socio-economic burden of diseases on the individual and on the society. This is a very important consideration as it illustrates direct budgetary consequences of diseases in the health system and indirect costs associated with patient or carer productivity losses. By measuring and comparing the socio-economic burden of different diseases to society, health authorities and payers could benefit in optimizing priority setting and resource allocation. New medical technologies, especially innovative therapies, present an excellent case study for the inclusion of socio-economic burden in reimbursement decision-making. Assessment and appraisal have been greatly concentrated so far on cost-effectiveness and budget impact, marginalizing all other considerations. In this context, data on disease burden and inclusion of explicit criterion of socio-economic burden in reimbursement decision-making may be highly beneficial. Realizing the magnitude of the lost socio-economic contribution resulting from diseases in question could be a reasonable way for policy makers to accept a higher valuation of innovative therapies.

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