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A structured review of health utility measures and elicitation in advanced/metastatic breast cancer

Authors Hao Y, Wolfram V, Cook J

Received 12 November 2015

Accepted for publication 5 March 2016

Published 23 June 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 293—303


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Michael Liebman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Giorgio Lorenzo Colombo

Yanni Hao,1 Verena Wolfram,2 Jennifer Cook2

1Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, NJ, USA; 2Adelphi Values, Bollington, UK

Background: Health utilities are increasingly incorporated in health economic evaluations. Different elicitation methods, direct and indirect, have been established in the past. This study examined the evidence on health utility elicitation previously reported in advanced/metastatic breast cancer and aimed to link these results to requirements of reimbursement bodies.
Methods: Searches were conducted using a detailed search strategy across several electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and EconLit databases), online sources (Cost-effectiveness Analysis Registry and the Health Economics Research Center), and web sites of health technology assessment (HTA) bodies. Publications were selected based on the search strategy and the overall study objectives.
Results: A total of 768 publications were identified in the searches, and 26 publications, comprising 18 journal articles and eight submissions to HTA bodies, were included in the evidence review. Most journal articles derived utilities from the European Quality of Life Five-Dimensions questionnaire (EQ-5D). Other utility measures, such as the direct methods standard gamble (SG), time trade-off (TTO), and visual analog scale (VAS), were less frequently used. Several studies described mapping algorithms to generate utilities from disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL) instruments such as European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire – Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30), European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire – Breast Cancer 23 (EORTC QLQ-BR23), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – General questionnaire (FACT-G), and Utility-Based Questionnaire-Cancer (UBQ-C); most used EQ-5D as the reference. Sociodemographic factors that affect health utilities, such as age, sex, income, and education, as well as disease progression, choice of utility elicitation method, and country settings, were identified within the journal articles. Most submissions to HTA bodies obtained utility values from the literature rather than exploring the HRQOL data obtained during clinical development. This was critiqued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Furthermore, the impact of age on utilities was highlighted by NICE and it was suggested that an age match of the study population should be attempted.
Conclusion: Health utilities are recorded across the globe to varying extents and using differing elicitation methods. Manufacturers seeking reimbursement need to be aware of the country-specific requirements for elicitation of health utilities.

Keywords: health utilities, advanced/metastatic breast cancer, health-related quality of life, health technology assessment, HTA, direct utility measures, indirect utility measures

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