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Background: Decision makers in middle-income countries are using economic evaluations (EEs) in pricing and reimbursement decisions for pharmaceuticals. However, whilst many of these jurisdictions have local submission guidelines and local expertise, the studies themselves often use economic models developed elsewhere and elements of data from countries other than the jurisdiction concerned. The objectives of this study were to describe the current situation and to assess the challenges faced by decision makers in transferring data and analyses from other jurisdictions.
Methods: Experienced health service researchers in each region conducted an interview survey of representatives of decision making bodies from jurisdictions in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America that had at least 1 year's experience of using EEs.
Results: Representatives of the relevant organizations in twelve countries were interviewed. All twelve jurisdictions had developed official guidelines for the conduct of EEs. All but one of the organizations evaluated studies submitted to them, but 9 also conducted studies and 7 commissioned them. Nine of the organizations stated that, in evaluating EEs submitted to them, they had consulted a study performed in a different jurisdiction. Data on relevant treatment effect was generally considered more transferable than those on prices/unit costs. Views on the transferability of epidemiological data, data on resource use and health state preference values were more mixed. Eight of the respondents stated that analyses submitted to them had used models developed in other jurisdictions. Four of the organizations had a policy requiring models to be adapted to reflect local circumstances. The main obstacles to transferring EEs were the different patterns of care or wealth of the developed countries from which most economic evaluations originate.
Conclusions: In middle-income countries it is commonplace to deal with the issue of transferring analyses or data from other jurisdictions. Decision makers in these countries face several challenges, mainly due to differences in current standard of care, practice patterns, or gross domestic product between the developed countries where the majority of the studies are conducted and their own jurisdiction
Background: Alzheimer's drugs are believed to have limited availability and to be unaffordable in low- and middle-income countries compared to high-income countries. The price, availability and affordability of Alzheimer's drugs have not been reported before.
Methods: During 2007 an international survey was conducted in 21 countries in six continents (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, France, India, Japan, Macedonia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Portugal, Serbia, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, the U.K. and the U.S.A.). Prices of Alzheimer's drugs were compared using the affordability index (the total number of units purchasable with one's daily income) derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) converted prices as well as raw prices.
Results: Donepezil is available in all 21 countries, whereas the newer drugs are less available. A 5 mg tablet of branded originator donepezil costs just US$0.26 in India and US$0.31 in Mexico, whereas it costs US$6.64 in the U.S.A. Pricing conditions of rivastigmine, galantamine and memantine appear to be similar to that of donepezil. The cheapest branded originators are from India and Mexico. However, in terms of PPP, Alzheimer's drugs in other low- and middle-income countries are much more expensive than in high-income countries. Most people in low- and middle-income countries cannot afford Alzheimer's drugs.
Conclusions: Alzheimer's drugs, albeit available, are often unaffordable for those who need them most. It is hoped that equitable differential pricing will be applied to Alzheimer's drugs.
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