Table 2

Schemata for appraising economic evidence

Type of schema and evidence to be appraisedHow the schema works and the criteria used
Criteria for standardisation of methods and comparison of findings in economic evaluations
Appraise cost effectiveness studies, including cost utility evaluations.71,72Defined a standard ‘reference case’ cost effectiveness analysis for comparison across all studies, which included consideration of societal perspective; definition and measurement of costs and outcomes; estimating effectiveness; incorporating time preference and uncertainty and presentation of results.
Critical appraisal checklists for economic evaluation
Appraise economic evaluations in clinical setting.73,74
 Appraise generic economic evaluations.75,76A guide for the clinical interpretation of published economic evaluations, based on 3 questions
  • Are the results valid?

  • What were the results?

  • Will the results help patients in particular context?

Guide the appraisal and preparation of journal articles.77,78Most critical appraisal criteria focus on the following: specification of decision context and perspective; measurement of costs and outcomes; adjustments for timing and uncertainty; incremental analysis; presentation of results.
Regulatory guidelines
Appraise pharmacoeconomic submissions to governmental regulatory bodies.79–82Outlines recommended practice in submitting pharmacoeconomic evaluations to regulatory bodies for inclusion on subsidised pharmaceuticals list. Cover the perspective to adopt; definition and measurement of costs and outcomes; discounting and uncertainty; presentation of results to aid decision making.
Ethical principles of good practice for economic evaluations
Appraise privately financed economic evaluations.83Code of conduct to govern relationship between sponsors and researchers. Called for methods to be explicit.