Objectives: We explore how broader aspects of a treatment's value and the impact of the condition on patients not captured by routine health technology assessment (HTA) methods using clinical and economic evidence, defined as “other considerations,” may influence HTA processes in different settings.
Methods: Countries included were England, Scotland, Sweden, and France. Data sources were the publicly available reports on HTA recommendations. Ten drugs with European Medicines Agency orphan designation and appraised in England were selected. Qualitative thematic analysis was used to systematically identify and code all “other considerations” based on a previously developed methodological framework, which also coded whether it was provided by stakeholders, and how it influenced the decision.
Results: A classification framework of scientific and social value judgments was developed and used throughout the study. A total of 125 “other considerations” were identified and grouped into ten subcategories based on the information provided. Eighteen to 100 percent of these, depending on the agency, were put forward as one of the main reasons for the final decision potentially contributing to accepting a higher incremental cost-effectiveness ratio or uncertain evidence. Some of these were nonquantified or nonelicited and pertained to the assessor's judgment. A taxonomy of these value judgments was created to be used in future cases. Results also contributed to better defining the determinants of social value and improving accountability for reasonableness.
Conclusions: The systematic identification of the scientific and social value judgments enables to better understanding the dimensions of value, which can be used to improve their transparency and consistent use across decisions and settings.