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Journal: Applied health economics and health policy


This article aims to define a value-based approach to pricing and reimbursement for off-patent originators using a multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach centered on a systematic analysis of current pricing and reimbursement policies in China. A drug price policy review was combined with a quantitative analysis of China’s drug purchasing database. Policy preferences were identified through a MCDA performed by interviewing well-known academic experts and industry stakeholders. The study findings indicate that the current Chinese price policy includes cost-based pricing and the establishment of maximum retail prices and premiums for off-patent originators, whereas reference pricing may be adopted in the future. The literature review revealed significant differences in the dissolution profiles between originators and generics; therefore, dissolution profiles need to be improved. Market data analysis showed that the overall price ratio of generics and off-patent originators was around 0.54-0.59 in 2002-2011, with a 40 % price difference, on average. Ten differentiating value attributes were identified and MCDA was applied to test the impact of three pricing policy scenarios. With the condition of implementing quality consistency regulations and controls, a reduction in the price gap between high-quality off-patent products (including originator and generics) seemed to be the preferred policy. Patents of many drugs will expire within the next 10 years; thus, pricing will be an issue of importance for off-patent originators and generic alternatives.

Concepts: Scientific method, Drug, Decision theory, Decision making software, Qualitative research, Price, Pricing, Suggested retail price


In current clinical practice, peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are typically inserted using external anatomical measurements and a confirmatory chest X-ray, or using fluoroscopy. The Sherlock 3CG(®) Tip Confirmation System (TCS) allows magnetic tracking of the PICC tip during insertion and confirmation of the final location using ECG, meaning that most patients will not require a chest X-ray or fluoroscopy. The Sherlock 3CG(®) TCS was evaluated in 2014 by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as part of the Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme. The company (C.R. Bard Ltd) identified four abstracts, one paper pending publication and questionnaire data from NHS users of the Sherlock 3CG(®) TCS. None of the evidence included a comparator arm. Placement accuracy of PICCs using the Sherlock 3CG(®) TCS where a chest X-ray was also used ranged from 79.5 to 100 %. The company reported that 9 out of 16 NHS centres that used the Sherlock 3CG(®) TCS were no longer using chest X-rays to routinely confirm PICC tip location. The evidence did not report the need for catheter repositioning, re-insertion, staff time savings, treatment delays, length of stay, quality of life outcomes or complications. The company’s model found that the Sherlock 3CG(®) TCS was cost saving by GBP25.67 per patient compared to blind bedside PICC insertion. The External Assessment Centre (EAC) adapted the company’s model to test alternative assumptions for nurse time, theatre cost, malposition rate and reinsertion method, and found that the Sherlock 3CG(®) TCS was cost incurring by GBP9.37 per patient compared to blind bedside PICC insertion. The use of the Sherlock 3CG(®) TCS in the UK NHS compared to blind PICC insertion using a confirmatory chest X-ray appears to hover around being cost neutral. Staff time and accuracy were key drivers in the model: evidence for these is sparse and the reality will vary in different situations. If evidence became available for outcomes after the initial insertion, such as replacement, complications and adverse events, the cost implications may change. The direction of this potential change is not known. NICE published guidance MTG24 in March 2015 recommending that the case for adoption of Sherlock 3CG(®) TCS was supported by the evidence.

Concepts: X-ray, Medical imaging, Radiography, Angiography, Radiology, Fluoroscopy, Catheter, Peripherally inserted central catheter


Game theory is useful for identifying conditions under which individual stakeholders in a collective action problem interact in ways that are more cooperative and in the best interest of the collective. The literature applying game theory to healthcare markets predicts that when providers set prices for services autonomously and in a noncooperative fashion, the market will be susceptible to ongoing price inflation.

Concepts: Scientific method, Sociology, Economics, Chess, Cooperative, Tax, Collective, Austrian School


In most societies, resources are distributed by individuals acting in markets and by governments through some form of collective decision-making process. Economic evaluation offers a set of tools to inform collective decisions by examining the resource requirements and outcomes of alternative policies. The ‘societal perspective’ has been advocated, but less consideration has been given to what this should include and its practical implementation. This paper presents a framework for economic evaluation of policies with costs and outcomes falling on different sectors (e.g. health, criminal justice, education) and involving different decision makers. It extends the ‘impact inventory’ developed by the Second Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine by considering all affected individuals and reflecting how outcomes attributed to an intervention can be compared with outcomes forgone as a result of resources not being available for other purposes. The framework sets out the series of assessments to be made, distinguishing points at which value judgements feed into the evaluation, and the implications of alternative judgements. These assessments reflect the institutional arrangements of public bodies, for example, their funding, the outcomes they consider important and their relative valuations of these outcomes. By avoiding the use of an abstract ‘societal perspective’, the contribution of the framework is to inform multiple decision makers with different objectives and provide practical guidance on overall societal impact.


Most new brand-name drugs are protected by patents from generic competition, but these patents are occasionally granted in error. Invalidating such patents has traditionally been accomplished via court litigation by generic manufacturers, which is expensive and time consuming. In 2011, Congress created an administrative alternative to court litigation of patents, called inter partes review, intended to be much faster and less expensive.


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become one of the biggest threats to global public health given its association with mortality, morbidity and cost of health care. However, little is known on the economic burden of hospitalization attributable to AMR from a public health insurance perspective. We assessed the excess costs to the French public health insurance system attributable to AMR infections in hospitals.


Malnutrition, which is associated with increased medical complications in older hospitalized patients, can be attenuated by providing nutritional supplements.

Concepts: Nutrition, Hospital, Obesity, Vitamin, Essential nutrient, Food, Dehydration, Malnutrition


The quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) has become a widely used measure of health outcomes for use in informing decision making in health technology assessment. However, there is growing recognition of outcomes beyond health within the health sector and in related sectors such as social care and public health. This paper presents the advantages and disadvantages of ten possible approaches covering extending the health-related QALY and using well-being and monetary-based methods, in order to address the problem of using multiple outcome measures to inform resource allocation within and between sectors.

Concepts: Health care, Game theory, Health economics, Medical ethics, Cost-utility analysis, Quality-adjusted life year, Resource allocation


Prominent studies continue to measure the hospital volume-outcome relation using simple logistic or random-effects models. These regression models may not appropriately account for unobserved differences across hospitals (such as differences in organizational effectiveness) which could be mistaken for a volume outcome relation.

Concepts: Hospital, Surgery, Al-Andalus


Generic drugs are considered therapeutically equivalent to their original counterparts and lower in acquisition costs. However, the overall impact of generic substitution (GS) on global clinical and economic outcomes has not been conclusively evaluated.

Concepts: Medicine, Pharmaceutical industry, Drug development, Generic drug, Food and Drug Administration