New Approach to QALYfying the Value of a Treatment Coauthored by Analysis Group Experts

January 9, 2019

A study coauthored by Analysis Group experts describes a more efficient and flexible method for establishing disease-specific health utility values. Such values are essential for deriving quality-adjusted life years (QALY), a key metric in health economic evaluation used to inform regulatory, reimbursement, and pricing decisions. The research team included Analysis Group Vice Presidents Min Yang and Annie Guérin, as well as academic and industry researchers.

This study for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a rare type of blood cancer, is the first to use a discrete choice experiment (DCE) methodology to establish societal preferences directly for disease-specific health state utilities. The researchers applied the well-established DCE methodology through an online survey to obtain preference choices for health status options from a representative sample of the adult general population. The study’s findings underscore the value that society places on treatment-related AML health states and severe adverse events.

Collecting, distilling, or assigning utility values to effectively reflect quality of life aligned with a “health state” of a new treatment can be challenging for a number of reasons, such as the lack of a sufficiently nuanced measurement tool, insufficient data due to the rarity of a disease, a lack of precision in capturing the impact on health due to the nature of a disease or treatment, or a limitation inherent to the design of a clinical trial. The research team’s use of DCE to directly establish health utility values provides a more efficient approach to addressing some of the challenges frequently encountered in health economic evaluation.

The study results have been published in the article “Assessing utility values for treatment-related health states of acute myeloid leukemia in the United States,” in Health and Quality of Life Outcomes.

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