Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN: 22842403 / 22835733
Published by: Aboutscience Srl
Total articles ≅ 261

Latest articles in this journal

Francesco Malandrini, Cesare Borroni, , Massimiliano Sarra,
Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment, Volume 10, pp 12-17;

The attention paid by regulatory authorities to patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and their related measures (PROMs) has progressively increased to allow for a more complete description of the patient’s health status. This work aimed at investigating the use of PROs/PROMs in relation to reimbursement agreement and innovativeness recognition by the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA). The list of European Public Assessment Reports (EPARs), downloaded from the European Medicine Agency (EMA) website, was analyzed to identify drugs authorized between 2017 and 2021. The associations between the use of PROs/PROMs in the EPARs and the reimbursement and innovativeness status in Italy were explored through Chi2 test and logistic regression. In addition, each innovativeness report was analyzed to identify any further evidence about the consideration of PROs/PROM in the decision-making process. Of the 403 EPARs analyzed, 197 (48.9%) reported the use of PROs/PROMs. A subsample of 229 drugs with a reimbursement class (A, H, or C) officially assigned by AIFA was further investigated. Of them, 49.3% reported the use of PROs/PROMs. The Chi2 test revealed a statistically significant association between the use of PROs/PROMs and innovativeness (p = 0.001) and orphan status (p = 0.012). In the logistic regression, orphan status and availability of PROs/PROMs are significant predictors of the innovativeness status. However, of the 46 innovative drugs, only 9 (19.6%) explicitly reported a consideration of a PRO/PROM in their innovativeness reports. Robust instrument’s validation, reliable data collection and growing potential’s awareness are keys to increase the consideration of PROs at every step of the drug development process.
, Patrizio Armeni, Maria Luisa Brandi
Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment, Volume 10, pp 1-11;

Introduction: A timely diagnosis of osteoporosis is key to reducing its growing clinical and economic burden. Radiofrequency Echographic Multi Spectrometry (REMS), a new diagnostic technology using an ultrasound approach, has been recognized by scientific associations as a facilitator of patients’ care pathway. We aimed at evaluating the costs of REMS vs. the conventional ionizing technology (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, DXA) for the diagnosis of osteoporosis from the perspective of the Italian National Health Service (NHS) using a cost-minimization analysis (CMA). Methods: We carried out structured qualitative interviews and a structured expert elicitation exercise to estimate healthcare resource consumption with a purposeful sample of clinical experts. For the elicitation exercise, an Excel tool was developed and, for each parameter, experts were asked to provide the lowest, highest and most likely value. Estimates provided by experts were averaged with equal weights. Unit costs were retrieved using different public sources. Results: Considering the base-case scenario (most likely value), the cost of professionals amounts to €31.9 for REMS and €48.8 for DXA, the cost of instrumental examinations and laboratory tests to €45.1 for REMS and €68.2 for DXA. Overall, in terms of current costs, REMS is associated with a mean saving for the NHS of €40.0 (range: €27.6-71.5) for each patient. Conclusions: REMS is associated with lower direct healthcare costs with respect to DXA. These results may inform policy-makers on the value of the REMS technology in the earlier diagnosis for osteoporosis, and support their decision regarding the reimbursement and diffusion of the technology in the Italian NHS.
Anna Maria Marata, Walter Marrocco, Emanuela Arcangeli, Mattia Battistini, Giuliano Buzzetti, Riccardo Candido, Gianluigi Casadei, Francesco Cattel, Arturo Cavaliere, , et al.
Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment, Volume 9, pp 155-158;

This document illustrates the results of the work of two interdisciplinary and multistakeholder panels (researchers, public institutions, and industry representatives) on drug territorialization and digitalization, organized as part of a residential seminar held on 30 September and 1st October 2021. Arising from some considerations about the demand for health and the provisions of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), the discussion touched various aspects of managing the transition from current to future management models. The importance of identifying criteria for prioritizing interventions in the area emerged: different methods of drug delivery, scientific information and measurement, re-evaluation of pathologies that can be managed in this area. Finally, the role of digitization within this change was explored. The opinions provided by the experts move towards making the most of the opportunities arising from PNRR, in terms of investments in healthcare and data application, with a view to improve health system efficiency, patient care and related outcomes.
, , Rocco De Vivo, , Marcello Scarcia, Chiara De Fino, Patrizia Beccaglia, Irene Luccarini
Published: 14 November 2022
Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment, Volume 9, pp 146-154;

Introduction: Health state valuation and diagnostic-therapeutic pathways at the junction between non-metastatic and metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) are not well documented. We aimed at: (i) estimating the disability weights (DWs) for health states across a continuum of disease from asymptomatic non-metastatic (nmCRPC) to symptomatic metastatic state (mCRPC); (ii) mapping the diagnostic-therapeutic pathway of nmCRPC in Italy. Methods: Structured qualitative interviews were performed with clinical experts to gather information on nmCRPC clinical pathway. An online survey was administered to clinical experts to estimate DWs for four CRPC health states defined from interviews and literature review (i.e., nmCRPC, asymptomatic mCRPC, symptomatic mCRPC, mCRPC in progression during or after chemotherapy). Clinicians’ preferences for health states were elicited using the Person-Trade-Off (PTO) and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) methods. DWs associated with each health state, from 0 (best imaginable health state) and 1 (worst imaginable health state), were estimated. Results: We found that the management of nmCRPC is heterogeneous across Italian regions and hospitals, especially with respect to diagnostic imaging techniques. DWs for PTO ranged from 0.415 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.208-0.623) in nmCRPC to 0.740 (95% CI 0.560-0.920) in mCRPC, in progression during or after chemotherapy. DWs for VAS ranged between 0.246 (95% CI 0.131-0.361) in nmCRPC to 0.689 (95% CI 0.583-0.795) in mCRPC, in progression during or after chemotherapy. Conclusions: Estimated DWs suggest that delaying transition to a metastatic state might ease the disease burden at both patient and societal levels.
, Davide Integlia
Published: 10 November 2022
Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment, Volume 9, pp 138-145;

Objective: Conventional synthetic disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) were recommended in 2019 as first line therapy from Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. Updated local guidelines recommended methotrexate (MTX) as the drug of first choice. Nevertheless, MTX is reported by AIFA to be underused. Since no study evaluated jointly the first-line efficacy and costs of the most widely used biologic drugs (adalimumab, etanercept, secukinumab and ustekinumab) and methotrexate in Italy, a cost per responder (CPR) analysis was performed. Methods: A CPR model was developed based on efficacy data from a published Cochrane network meta-analysis.Drug costs included in the model were estimated based on average regional tender prices. The primary analysisassessed the CPR of both Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) 90 at weeks 12 and 52. A secondary analysis was conducted considering PASI 75. For methotrexate, both an average dosage of 13.4 mg, estimated by an expertpanel, and a dosage of 15 mg reported in European guidelines were considered. Results: At weeks 12 and 52, the costs per responder PASI 90 were lower for methotrexate 13.4 mg compared to the most widely used biologics in Italy, € 566.71 and € 2,455.72 respectively. Methotrexate also showed a lowest CPR both at 12 and 52 weeks, € 529.95 and € 2,296.47 respectively, in the secondary analysis. Conclusions: The analysis showed a lower cost per responder for methotrexate than for adalimumab, etanercept,secukinumab and ustekinumab. For healthcare budget holders, this means using the saved resources to treat more patients.
Jaime Rodríguez Quintosa, Cintia Cristina Ago, Antoni Sicras Mainar, Renata Villoro, Inés Pérez-Román
Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment, Volume 9, pp 133-137;

Background: Impetigo is a common dermatological paediatric infection that can be treated with topical antibiotics: the common are mupirocin (MUP), fusidic acid (FA) and, most recently, ozenoxacin (OZ). Aim: This study assesses the clinical and economic consequences of the use of OZ vs. MUP and vs. FA for the treatment of impetigo in routine clinical practice in Spain. Methods: This is a retrospective observational study using real-life data from electronic medical records of patients with impetigo who started treatment with OZ, MUP or FA (maximum follow-up: 3 months; n = 10,974). We compared treatment duration, comorbidities, use of systemic medication, complications, utilization of resources and associated costs across treatments (p<0.05). Cost-effectiveness of OZ was assessed from a social perspective. Complication rates and treatment duration were the effectiveness measures. Results: Mean age was 12.6 (standard deviation [SD]: 16.6) years; 48.6% were male; treatment: 9.3% (OZ), 56.4% (MUP), 34.5% (FA). The percentage of patients ending treatment after 2 weeks was 87.6% (OZ) vs. 83.2% (MUP) vs. 82.4% (FA); p<0.001; complication rates were 1.8% (OZ), 3.3% (MUP) and 3.2% (FA), p<0.001; mean costs were €158 (OZ), €265 (MUP) and €287 (FA), p<0.001. Conclusions: OZ is a cost-effective and dominant alternative for the treatment of impetigo.
, Marta Mosca, Roberto Ravasio, Pietro Brambilla, Paola Raimondo,
Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment, Volume 9, pp 123-132;

Background: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with clinical burden for the patient and organ damage. The development of therapies for SLE has been constrained by clinical and biologic heterogeneity. These represent challenges in clinical trial design and endpoint selection. Objective: To identify the most relevant descriptors for efficacy, endpoints, disease activity, organ damage, quality of life (QoL), and Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) in the treatment of SLE. Methods: A Delphi study was conducted using a national expert panel of clinicians in the treatment of SLE. A steering committee composed of 3 opinion leaders with deep expertise in SLE treatment was defined. The steering committee analyzed and appraised the evidence, designed the Delphi study, defined the statements, and analyzed the expert panel responses. A 2-round Delphi survey was conducted. Participants were asked to rate the statements using a five-point Likert scale. Results: Nine experts participated in the Delphi survey. After the two rounds, the consensus was reached on 18 of the 23 statements: 2 statements were included in the “efficacy” domain, 2 in the “glucocorticoid-sparing” domain, 2 in the “endpoint evaluation” domain, 4 in the “score” domain, 1 in the “disease activity” domain, 1 in the “organ damage” domain, 1 in the “QoL” domain, 2 in the “PROMs” domain, 1 in the “AIFA monitoring” domain and 2 in the “extra” domain. No statements reached consensus within the “onset” domain. Conclusion: In this Delphi study, 18 statements across 11 domains were agreed upon for the treatment of SLE.
Chiara Bini, Martina Paoletti, , , Francesco Saverio Mennini
Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment, Volume 9, pp 105-116;

Objective. To assess the cost-effectiveness and economic sustainability of treosulfan plus fludarabine compared with busulfan plus fludarabine as a conditioning treatment for malignant disease prior to allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) in adult patients in Italy. Method. The two theoretical cohorts of patients aged ≥ 60 years with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) were pooled and followed over time using a partitioned survival model with cycles of 28 days. Patients can transition between a post-HSCT recovery/remission state (Event-Free Survival state, EFS state), a relapsed/progressed disease state, and a death state. A lifetime horizon for cost-effectiveness analysis and a 5-years’ time horizon for budget impact analysis were used. The perspective of the Italian National Health Service was adopted. Utility values were obtained from published sources. Costs included: drug acquisition, HSCT procedure, management and treatment of adverse reactions, graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and health states, end of life treatment. Discounting of 3% per year was applied for both costs and outcomes according to Italian guidelines. Sensitivity was tested through both one-way and probabilistic analyses. Results. Cost-effectiveness analysis showed that treosulfan is both more effective and less expensive compared with busulfan (+1.11 life-years, +0.96 quality-adjusted life-years per patient and -€ 41,784 per patient). On the side of economic sustainability, the introduction of treosulfan in the market could generate a cumulative decrement of the expense incurred by NHS of about -€ 179,174 over five years. Conclusion. Treosulfan could represent a cost-effective and sustainable treatment alternative from the perspective of the NHS.
Francesca Patarnello, Emiliano Briante,
Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment, Volume 9, pp 117-122;

Pharmaceutical industry investments in Italy must be supported with a reform process that promotes simplifications to generate an attractive ecosystem that can enhance innovation. Key actions include facilitating the start-up of clinical trials, promoting public-private partnerships to support technology transfer, integrating data infrastructures to overcome the logic of silos, expanding programs for prevention and early identification of diseases, simultaneous reimbursement for therapy and diagnostic testing, and launching a structural program for early access to therapies. The total contribution of the sector in the last 10 years to the Italian economy was € 315 bn. Looking at employment (67 thousand people employed in the sector in 2020), it is possible to estimate about 280 thousand jobs activated in Italy just in 2020. An Altems study quantified a leverage effect of 2.77 in terms of benefits to the Italian NHS from direct investment in clinical research, which means that for every € 1 invested by companies in clinical trials, € 1.77 of additional savings were generated for the NHS. Applying the multiplier on R&D investments of the entire pharmaceutical sector in 2020 (€ 1.6 bn), we could estimate approximately € 4.4 bn in benefits for the NHS. In addition to these benefits there are the noneconomic benefits of clinical research, including early access for patients to innovative therapies, resulting in improved clinical outcomes and quality of life for patients and caregivers in general.
, , Giovanna Scroccaro, Valentina Acciai, Antonio Addis, Andrea Ardizzoni, , Alberto Bortolami, Alessia Brigido, Giuliano Buzzetti, et al.
Published: 28 September 2022
Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment, Volume 9, pp 99-104;

This document illustrates the results of a discussion of two multi-disciplinary expert panels on pricing and reimbursement of medicines. Experts work in different organizations. The discussion focused on comparator(s), endpoint(s), negotiation of prices of new medicines and/or indications to include in the List 648, as well as the role of cost-effectiveness in the price and reimbursement negotiation. The debate took place during the fourth edition of the Seminari di Mogliano, organized on the 30th of September/1st of October, 2021. The two panels agreed on a general need to enhance interaction among the different stakeholders, in the early assessment and negotiation phases, and to increase the transparency/reproducibility of the decisions taken. The experts have also emphasized the need (i) to improve clarity in the evaluation of additional therapeutic value and the place in therapy with respect to comparators and how comparators are identified; (ii) to create work groups to identify the most appropriate endpoint(s), for each therapeutic area and level of unmet needs; (iii) to provide for a systematic use of cost-effectiveness when an added therapeutic value is delivered by a new medicine. With regard to the 648 List, the experts advocated for an overall reorganization of the current rules governing the special uses of drugs.
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