Objectives: Large secondary databases, such as those containing insurance claims data, are increasingly being used to compare the effects and costs of treatments in routine clinical practice. Despite their appeal, however, caution must be exercised when using these data. In this study, we aimed to identify and assess the methodological quality of studies that used claims data to compare the effectiveness, costs, or cost-effectiveness of systemic therapies for breast cancer. Methods: We searched Embase, the Cochrane Library, Medline, Web of Science, and Google Scholar for English-language publications and assessed the methodological quality using the Good Research for Comparative Effectiveness principles. This study was registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) under number CRD42018103992. Results: We identified 1251 articles, of which 106 met the inclusion criteria. Most studies were conducted in the United States (74%) and Taiwan (9%) and were based on claims data sets (35%) or claims data linked to cancer registries (58%). Furthermore, most included large samples (mean 17 130 patients) and elderly patients, and they covered various outcomes (eg, survival, adverse events, resource use, and costs). Key methodological shortcomings were the lack of information on relevant confounders, the risk of immortal time bias, and the lack of information on the validity of outcomes. Only a few studies performed sensitivity analyses. Conclusions: Many comparative studies of cost, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness have been published in recent decades based on claims data, and the number of publications has increased over time. Despite the availability of guidelines to improve quality, methodological issues persist and are often inappropriately addressed or reported.

Additional Metadata
Keywords administrative data, claims data, secondary data
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jval.2020.05.008, hdl.handle.net/1765/130346
Journal Value in Health
Citation
Luyendijk, M, Vernooij, R.W.M. (Robin W.M.), Blommestein, H.M, Siesling, S, & Uyl-de Groot, C.A. (2020). Assessment of Studies Evaluating Incremental Costs, Effectiveness, or Cost-Effectiveness of Systemic Therapies in Breast Cancer Based on Claims Data: A Systematic Review. Value in Health. doi:10.1016/j.jval.2020.05.008