Milan, Italy—November 11, 2015—The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) 18th Annual European Congress third plenary session — Recommendations from the ISPOR Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis Emerging Good Practice Task Force and Remaining Controversies — was held this morning at the MiCo – Milano Congressi in Milan, Italy.

Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) is an emerging new practice using a broad set of methodological approaches to assist in decision making. The topic of MCDA has become increasingly important—especially in an era of expensive but valuable health technologies—as many of today’s health care decisions require a careful assessment of the available treatment options to determine the best therapeutic choices.

The plenary was moderated by Daniel Malone, PhD, RPh, Professor of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy and Associate Professor, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA and featured the following speakers:

Presentation of the Task Force Reports: Emerging Good Practices for Conducting MCDA:
–  Maarten J. IJzerman, PhD, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology & HTA & Vice Dean, Health & Biomedical Technology, Faculty of Science & Technology, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
–  Kevin Marsh, PhD, Senior Research Scientist & EU Director of Modelling and Simulation, Evidera, London, UK
Identification of Remaining Controversies and Solutions for Using MCDA in Health Care:
–  A. Brett Hauber, PhD, Senior Economist & Vice President, Health Preference Assessment, RTI Health Solutions, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA
–   Mónica Duarte Oliveira, PhD, MSc, Associate Professor, Department of Engineering and Management, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Task Force Response and Discussion:
–   Nancy Devlin, PhD, Director of Research, Office of Health Economics, London, UK
–   Praveen Thokala, MASc, PhD, Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

“Today there is tremendous interest in MCDA, but this topic was brought to ISPOR in 1999,” noted IJzerman. Marsh outlined the checklist steps for MCDA, including (1) Defining the decision problem, (2) Selecting and structuring criteria, (3) Measuring performance, (4) Scoring criteria, (5) Weighting criteria, (6) Calculating aggregate scores, (7) Dealing with uncertainty, and (8) Reporting and examining findings. Hauber pointed out that, “There is increasing demand for transparency in health care decision making and transparency is a key theme in MCDA.” And Duarte Oliveira noted that, “Delivering MCDA requires the design of the socio-technical process.”

The ISPOR MCDA Task Force Report is the subject of a paper that will be published in early 2016 in Value in Health. Information on ISPOR’s MCDA in Health Care Decision Making Emerging Good Practices Task Force may be found at

Released presentations from the ISPOR 18th Annual European Congress are available at ISPOR’s 18th Annual European Congress may be followed on social media using the hashtag #ISPORMilan.


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