A role of two-stage pharmacoeconomic appraisal?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Healthcare decision makers and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly using techniques of economic evaluation, particularly modelling, to assist them in their decisions about drug purchasing and drug development. The use of models in other types of policy decisions is also well established. One option, to shorten the time to a purchasing decision, would be for an interim decision for approval for reimbursement to be based on an economic model. Such a system would mainly benefit the drug development process and thus the pharmaceutical industry; however the approach could also lead to poor decision making, unethical marketing and withdrawal of drugs from the consumer. In this article, we consider the option of a two-stage economic appraisal process from the point of view of the seller, the purchaser and the patient and public. Although a two-stage process may offer some advantages in terms of early return on investment and access, there are significant disadvantages in terms of certainty about effects and public policy and expenditure. Until there are better methods of predicting the effectiveness of a new product, it is unlikely that interim decisions can be seen as a reasonable health policy alternative, although it seems likely that industry may continue to lobby for such an approach.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-767
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003