Continued expansion in the availability of costly alternative therapies in multiple myeloma will enhance the role of economic evaluations in reimbursement decisions and amendments to the treatment guidelines. The quality of economic evaluations should be taken into account by clinicians involved in decision-making. A systematic review and critique of the methodology was performed to assess the trends and quality in economic evaluations in multiple myeloma to date. A literature search was conducted to identify full economic evaluations in multiple myeloma as of December 2009. Details of the economic evaluation methods applied were extracted. Each study underwent a quality assessment based on the Drummond checklist for appraisal of high-quality economic evaluations in health care. Eighteen published economic evaluations were identified. Stem cell transplantation in combination with intensive chemotherapy has been demonstrated to be cost-effective, while interferon alpha is generally ineffective at additional costs. Evaluations have become less frequent in the last decade, especially for newer therapies despite their important contribution to improvements in outcomes. The quality of the methodology applied and its documentation can be improved in many aspects. As users of the results of economic evaluations, clinicians involved in guiding decision-making should be critical of the quality of economic evaluations in multiple myeloma. To ensure access to and identification of high-quality studies, researchers conducting economic evaluations of future advances should strive towards evaluations that fulfil the Drummond criteria and are properly documented.

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European Journal of Cancer
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Gaultney, J. G., Redekop, K., Sonneveld, P., & Uyl-de Groot, C. (2011). Critical review of economic evaluations in multiple myeloma. European Journal of Cancer, 47(10), 1458–1467. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2011.04.005