Does Methodological Guidance Produce Consistency? A Review of Methodological Consistency in Breast Cancer Utility Value Measurement in NICE Single Technology Appraisals

from PharmacoEconomics – Open at on July 5, 2017 at 12:06PM


Since 2004, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) methodological guidance for technology appraisals has emphasised a strong preference for using the validated EuroQol 5-Dimensions (EQ-5D) quality-of-life instrument, measuring patient health status from patients or carers, and using the general public’s preference-based valuation of different health states when assessing health benefits in economic evaluations. The aim of this study was to review all NICE single technology appraisals (STAs) for breast cancer treatments to explore consistency in the use of utility scores in light of NICE methodological guidance. A review of all published breast cancer STAs was undertaken using all publicly available STA documents for each included assessment. Utility scores were assessed for consistency with NICE-preferred methods and original data sources. Furthermore, academic assessment group work undertaken during the STA process was examined to evaluate the emphasis of NICE-preferred quality-of-life measurement methods. Twelve breast cancer STAs were identified, and many STAs used evidence that did not follow NICE’s preferred utility score measurement methods. Recent STA submissions show companies using EQ-5D and mapping. Academic assessment groups rarely emphasized NICE-preferred methods, and queries about preferred methods were rare. While there appears to be a trend in recent STA submissions towards following NICE methodological guidance, historically STA guidance in breast cancer has generally not used NICE’s preferred methods. Future STAs in breast cancer and reviews of older guidance should ensure that utility measurement methods are consistent with the NICE reference case to help produce consistent, equitable decision making.