Letters

Importance of health economics must be recognised when trials are designed

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7199.1696a (Published 19 June 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1696
  1. Alan Haycox, Senior lecturer in health economics (A.R.Haycox@liverpool.ac.uk),
  2. Adrian Bagust, Senior research fellow,
  3. Tom Walley, Director
  1. Prescribing Research Group, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Liverpool

    EDITOR—Barbert and Thompson's study is welcome if it leads trial designers to recognise health economics as more than a (non-essential) afterthought to their trial.1 The points that the authors make would benefit from a more complete understanding of the nature of economic data and the context in which economic analyses are undertaken.2

    Clinical outcomes in trials tend to be uni-dimensional and unambiguous (such as survival or response to treatment), whereas economic data are essentially multidimensional. Health care embraces the use of …

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