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IQWiG: First health economic evaluation completed
Date:10/30/2013

The German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has completed its first health economic evaluation. The report on antidepressants published on 30 October 2013 shows that the "efficiency frontier method" works and can provide very helpful results. In relation to their benefit, some drugs are markedly more expensive than others. The self-government of the German health care system can now be provided with well-founded information on the appropriate price at which the statutory health insurance (SHI) funds could reimburse a drug. It is now the responsibility of politicians to discuss and determine the future relevance of such evaluations in the health care system.

Complete health economic evaluation not possible for all drugs due to lack of data

In the present health economic evaluation IQWiG was commissioned by the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) to determine the cost-effectiveness ratio of venlafaxine, duloxetine, bupropion, and mirtazapine compared to other currently available drugs and to placebo. For this purpose, the efficiency frontier method, which was adapted by IQWiG and an international expert panel, was applied. With this method, a price or price corridor can be determined within which a drug can be regarded as "cost-effective".

However, due to missing data it was not possible to present the results on an efficiency frontier for all drugs and all patient-relevant outcomes (e.g. quality of life) and derive prices adjusted for added benefit.

Prices markedly higher than appropriate

IQWiG was able to calculate such "added-benefit-adjusted reimbursement prices" for the outcomes "response" (to treatment), defined as a reduction in depressive symptoms of at least 50% on a disease-specific scale, and "remission". The latter is achieved if symptoms can be alleviated to an extent that the criteria for depression are no longer fulfilled.

The relation between their benefi
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Contact: Dr. Anna-Sabine Ernst
presse@iqwig.de
49-022-135-6850
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care
Source:Eurekalert

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