Developing Countries Need To Produce Their Own Valuation Of Quality Of Life

Brisbane, Australia – Economic evaluations are essential to support efficient resource allocation in health care. This is of increased importance in developing countries with scarce resources and a high disease burden. To undertake economic evaluation, developing countries need to know the value their citizens associate with different health states. Health state valuation needs to be based on the societal values of the same population for which resource allocation decisions are made. Basing decision making on a set of health state preferences that do not reflect the societal values of the country can have adverse consequences on the health system.

In the article, “Health State Valuation in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” researchers at the Centre for Applied Health Economics at Griffith University describe how they systematically identified all published studies on health state valuations from developing countries and critically discuss the methodologies used.

The review identified only 17 studies from the developing countries. Only 13 of all 144 developing nations have reported experience in undertaking health state valuations.

This comprehensive literature survey shows that health state valuations from developing countries are rare compared to developed countries. There is an urgent need to conduct health state valuations in developing countries with validated methods.

“We recommend collaboration to facilitate capacity building in valuing health states and economic evaluations in developing countries” said Professor Paul Scuffham, Director of the Centre for Applied Health Economics and an author of the study. “We aim to follow up on this review and produce a feasible methodology for health state valuations in low to middle income scenarios.”

Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal is published bi-monthly and has over 8,000 subscribers (clinicians, decision-makers, and researchers worldwide).

International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.

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