Economic evaluation of medical tests at the early phases of development: a systematic review of empirical studies

Samuel Frempong, Andrew Sutton, Clare Davenport, Pelham Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
249 Downloads (Pure)


Background: There is little specific guidance on the implementation of cost-effectiveness modelling at the early stage of test development. The aim of this study was to review the literature in this field to examine the methodologies and tools that have been employed to date.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted to identify relevant studies in established literature databases.
Results: Five studies were identified and included for narrative synthesis. These studies revealed that there is no consistent approach in this growing field. The perspective of patients and the potential for value of information (VOI) to provide information on the value of future research is often overlooked. Test accuracy is an essential consideration, with most studies having described and included all possible test results in their analysis, and conducted extensive sensitivity analyses on important parameters. Headroom analysis was considered in some instances but at the early development stage (not the concept stage).
Expert commentary: The techniques available to modellers that can demonstrate the value of conducting further research and product development (i.e. VOI analysis, headroom analysis) should be better utilized. There is the need for concerted efforts to develop rigorous methodology in this growing field to maximize the value and quality of such analysis.

Key words: systematic review; methodologyVOI and Headroom analysis; early cost-effectiveness; economic evaluations; modelling; medical tests
Original languageEnglish
JournalExpert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research
Issue number1
Early online date2 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • systematic review
  • VOI and Headroom analysis
  • early cost-effectiveness
  • economic evaluations
  • modelling
  • medical tests


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