September 1, 2012 – Volume 30 – Issue 9 pp: 749-858
Assessing the Quality of Pharmacoeconomic Studies in India: A Systematic Review
Desai, Pooja R.; Chandwani, Hitesh S.; Rascati, Karen L.
Pharmacoeconomics. 30(9):749-762, September 1, 2012.
Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the quality of pharmacoeconomic studies based in India.
Methods: A literature search was conducted using PubMed, MEDLINE, EconLit, PsycInfo and Google Scholar to identify published work on pharmacoeconomics studies based in India. Articles were included if they were original studies that evaluated pharmaceuticals, were based in India and were conducted between 1990 and 2010. Two reviewers independently reviewed the articles using a subjective 10-point quality scale in addition to the 100-point Quality of Health Economic Studies (QHES) questionnaire.
Results: Twenty-nine articles published between 1998 and May 2010 were included in the review. The included articles were published in 23 different journals. Each article was written by an average of five authors. The mean subjective quality score of the 29 articles was 7.8 (standard deviation [SD] = 1.3) and the mean QHES scores for the complete pharmacoeconomic studies (n = 24) was 86 (SD = 6). The majority of authors resided in India (62%) at the time of publication and had a medical background (90%). The quality score was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) related to the country of residence of the primary author (non-India = higher) and the study design (randomized controlled trials = higher).
Conclusion: Although the overall quality scores were comparable to (e.g. Nigeria) or higher than (e.g. Zimbabwe) similar studies in other developing countries, key features such as an explicit study perspective and the use of sensitivity analyses were missing in about 40% of the articles. The need for economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals is imperative, especially in developing countries such as India as this helps decision makers allocate scarce resources in a justifiable manner.