A Multi-Criteria Decision Approach for Ranking Unmet Needs in Healthcare

from Health Policy at http://bit.ly/2KyX7lS on June 30, 2018 at 11:24AM


Publication date: Available online 30 June 2018
Source:Health Policy
Author(s): Irina Cleemput, Stephan Devriese, Laurence Kohn, René Westhovens

Early temporary reimbursement (ETR) schemes for new interventions targeting high unmet needs are increasingly applied in pharmaceutical policy. Crucial for these schemes is the assessment of unmet healthcare needs of patients and society.
This study develops and tests a multi-criteria decision approach (MCDA) for assessing therapeutic and societal needs. The Belgian unmet needs commission, responsible for creating a list of unmet needs for the ETR programme, has tested this methodology to assess the needs in eight health conditions. For therapeutic need, three criteria were included (impact of the condition on quality of life and on life expectancy and inconvenience of current treatment); for societal need two criteria (condition-related healthcare expenditures per patient, prevalence).
The results show that the proposed MCDA is feasible and acceptable for the unmet needs commission. Clear definitions of the criteria and regular repetition of these is needed to avoid variable interpretation of the criteria by the commission members. Quality assessment of the evidence is desired. Rankings resulting from the application have face validity. Considering therapeutic need separately from societal need is considered appropriate.
Policy makers should consider the use of MCDA in assessing healthcare needs. MCDA improves the transparency and accountability of the decision making processes and is practical and feasible.