Differences in Attitudes, Knowledge and Use of Economic Evaluations in Decision-Making in The Netherlands
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Objective: To investigate differences in attitudes, knowledge and actual use of economic evaluations in different groups of decision-makers, and to compare the results from the Netherlands with the overall European results of the European Network on Methodology and Application of Economic Evaluation Techniques (EUROMET) project.
Design and setting: Members of the EUROMET group conducted interviews and surveys with politicians, regulators, hospital pharmacists and physicians in The Netherlands. Three approaches of investigation could be adopted: (i) a postal questionnaire survey, (ii) semi-structured interviews, and (iii) a focus-group approach.
Main outcome measures and results: In the Netherlands, decision-makers generally have a positive attitude towards economic evaluations. Nevertheless, their actual use and knowledge of economic evaluations are still limited. Hospital pharmacists and regulators are more objective than physicians and politicians, who also base their judgements on other societal values. Hospital pharmacists and regulators have a greater knowledge of economic evaluations, and they use them more often than the other groups. Most decision-makers do not want to base their decisions strictly on a cost-effectiveness ranking alone. Our findings were similar to the findings in other European countries.
Conclusions: Decision-makers prefer to make their own broad comparisons of advantages and disadvantages, and do not base their decisions solely on a single summary measure.
KeywordsEconomic Evaluation Postal Questionnaire Allocative Efficiency Hospital Pharmacist Gross National Product
The research for this article was supported by the EU-Biomed II project (European Network on Methodology and Application of Economic Evaluation Techniques) [project number BMH4-CT96-1666].
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