There is no established methodology to assess the feasibility of medicine price data sources. Against this backdrop, a framework to guide the selection of most appropriate price data sources for pharmacoeconomic research has been developed.
A targeted literature review was carried out. Dimensions discussed in literature as relevant for medicine price comparisons and practical experience of the authors in medicine price studies informed the conceptional work of the framework development. A draft version of the framework was reviewed by peer pricing experts. The feasibility of the framework was tested in case studies.
According to the developed framework (called Re-ADAPT), a medicine price data source should meet the following criteria: reliability and sustainability; accessibility at a cost that users can afford; provision of medicine price information at the date(s) required; information for the defined geographic area, or at least in a representative way; coverage of the pharmaceuticals and at the price type(s) required. Easy handling and provision of additional information were defined as supportive assets of candidate data sources (secondary criteria). The case studies confirmed the feasibility of the Re-ADAPT framework. In some cases, however, it can be difficult to disentangle assessment criteria (particularly geographic area, scope of pharmaceuticals and price types) for separate consideration, given their interlinkage.
While selection of the most appropriate data sources will remain a challenge, the Re-ADAPT framework aims to provide practical guidance and thus contribute to a more careful, balanced, and evidence-based selection of data sources for medicine price studies.