What is utility elicitation?
In economic evaluation of healthcare interventions, utilities are used to represent the strength of individuals’ preferences for different health states. When utility values are averaged over a population of responders they can be considered to be valuations of health states. Conventionally, the valuations fall on a scale where 1 represents the valuation of a state of perfect health and 0 represents the valuation of death. Sequences of utility values reported over periods of time for individual patients or cohorts of patients may be aggregated to derive quality-adjusted life years, commonly used as outcomes in economic evaluation.
When and why do you need to elicit utilities?
Any intervention that has a net cost greater than current care will need to demonstrate that it offers value for money. To do this, it will be necessary to quantify the health benefits using a metric that can be compared across different diseases. In countries such as the UK, utility scores are a mandatory measurement when evaluating pharmaceutical technologies for reimbursement decision making. Therefore, it is vital to collect utility scores, or find alternative means to estimate utility outcomes for your intervention. Typically, these would be collected within a clinical trial, since this would allow comparative utility data to be generated.
How can we help you?
YHEC can help at various stages of the product life cycle. In the early development stage, we can advise on the existing utility measures for the specific disease area and provide recommendations around data gaps. At the trial planning stage, we can advise on the most appropriate utility instrument to include in the trial. We can also analyse the utility data collected in the trial. If utilities were not collected during the trial, YHEC can run utility elicitation studies, generating utility data for any number of health states. The utility scores will be generated using appropriate techniques and will be reported in a manner suitable for inclusion directly into an economic model.
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