Economic evaluation of health programs consists of comparing alternative interventions in terms of costs and consequences (outcomes) in order to better inform decision makers. One such evaluation, cost-utility analysis, incorporates the measured preferences of individuals for health outcomes of the alternative interventions, using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Utilities may be obtained from a variety of sources including the health utilities index (HUI3) or from transforming the SF-36 to a utility measure, the SF-6D. This study reports on utilities measured in a double-blind, multinational phase III clinical trial in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention prior to hospital discharge and six months thereafter. In these patients, the HUI3 and the SF-6D generated different estimates of utilities. The gain in utilities from treatment was lower when using the SF-6D. Since utilities form the basis for calculating QALYs, these differences might result in differences in conclusions about the value of the new treatment.
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About the Author
Hind T. Hatoum holds a B.S. in pharmacy, a M.S. in pharmacology and a Ph.D. in health care administration. She runs her own consulting firm that specializes in the study of health economics and quality of life as a result of drug therapy interventions. Dr. Hatoum is available for questions and interviews and can be reached at HTHatoum@aol.com.
About Value in Health
Value in Health is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal reporting on evaluations of medical technologies including pharmaceuticals, biologics, devices, procedures, and other health care interventions. As the official journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, the Journal provides a scientific forum for communicating health economics and outcomes research methods and findings.
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