Framework

To evaluate any pharmacoeconomic analysis, the reader must bear in mind several points about the framework of the study. First, the study needs to be clear about the perspective of the analysis. Three main perspectives of a pharmacoeconomic analysis include the individual patient, the third-party payer and society. The perspective dictates the cost used in the analysis (see below). The Panel on Cost-effectiveness in Health and Medicine has recommended including an analysis from the societal perspective, called the reference case.11 Second, along with perspective, the target population to which the intervention is directed should be explicitly stated. Lastly, all pharmacoeconomic studies should be incremental analyses, comparing at least two therapies unless no standard of care exists. Pure cost analyses can be an exception to this guideline since they can be used purely to account for cost.

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