Timo Purmonen and Soili Törmälehto from Medfiles’ Health economics unit contributed to a recent review in the Duodecim medical Journal themed issue of Diagnostics and treatment of lung cancer 6/2016: “Novel drug therapies and their cost-effectiveness in the treatment of lung cancer”.
According to the review, cost-effectiveness of the new lung cancer treatments has been widely evaluated internationally. The results from these analyses have been contradictory, however. Based on the published evaluations it is neither possible to rank the new treatments nor is it possible to claim the cost-effectiveness of the new treatments compared with traditional treatments. In addition, cost-effectiveness cannot directly be extrapolated to Finland on the basis of these results.
Furthermore, in Finland sufficient attention has not been paid to cost-effectiveness of lung cancer treatments. According to the review, the significance of health economic evaluations is to help decision-making in allocating scarce resources to maximize health benefits rather than to identify the most inexpensive treatments. An expensive treatment may also be cost-effective from a societal perspective. National evaluations may also contribute to regional equality.
Finally, the review highlights the importance of national cost-effectiveness studies in order to have valid information about cost-effective treatments in the Finnish health-care system.
Timo Purmonen, Soili Törmälehto, Antti Jekunen: Novel drug therapies and their cost-effectiveness in the treatment of lung cancer. Duodecim 2016;132(6):576–83
For more information please contact Health economics expert Soili Törmälehto: firstname.lastname@example.org