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J Health Serv Res Policy. 1996 Jul;1(3):141-6.

Using economics to prioritize research: a case study of randomized trials for the prevention of hip fractures due to osteoporosis.

Author information

1
National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the role of economics, in combination with clinical judgement, for setting research priorities, using osteoporosis prevention (and, as a result, hip fracture prevention) as an example.

METHODS:

Modelling the cost and effectiveness of each of six potential interventions to prevent hip fractures over the 5-year length of a randomized trial (vitamin D injection; thiazide diuretics; hormone replacement therapy; oral calcium and vitamin D; calcium alone; calcitonin). Drug costs were derived from the Monthly Index of Medical Specialties (MIMS); averted fracture costs and estimates of effectiveness were derived from published sources.

RESULTS:

Vitamin D injection proved to be the most potentially cost-effective treatment with a cost-effectiveness ratio of 584 Pounds. If averted costs are included, this leads to a saving of 9,176,496 Pounds per 100,000 women treated. By contrast, the most expensive therapy was calcitonin (marginal cost-effectiveness ratio of 433,548 Pounds). This suggests that priority should be given to trials assessing the effectiveness of vitamin D injections.

CONCLUSIONS:

Relatively simple economic modelling exercises can inform research priorities and could help optimize the use of scarce research resources.

PMID:
10180860
DOI:
10.1177/135581969600100305
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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