Availability and Use of EU Databases to Generate Health Economic Evidence

HRU and Cost Analysis in EU-5

Availability and Use of EU Databases to Generate Health Economic Evidence

Databases are essential tools for pharmacoeconomic research. While North America has large administrative claims databases, hospital databases, and electronic medical record systems, databases in Europe are scarcer, integrated primary and secondary care data are rare, and claims with corresponding cost values are largely non-existent. The UBC team undertook a literature review to explore the use of databases for health resource utilization (HRU) and cost analyses in EU-5 during the past 5 years. The results were presented in a poster at ISPOR titled “Use of databases for health resource utilization (HRU) and cost analyses in EU-5: results from a focused literature review”.

The Pubmed/MEDLINE and Embase search engines were used to identify database studies in the EU-5 that focused on secondary care/hospitalization and health resources/utilization during the period January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015. Key data were abstracted, including:

  • Objective
  • Type of data source
  • Cost analysis performed
  • Design
  • Detailed HRU categories

The sample of 45 studies across EU-5 showed that the types of database used are intricately linked to each country’s health system (e.g. national databases in countries with a national health system such as the UK and France, local/regional databases in countries where healthcare is devolved to the regions such as Italy). Linkage of primary and secondary care data occurred with greater frequency in the UK and Italy. Two thirds of studies calculated direct medical costs by multiplying resources with unit values (contrary to the US where claims values are available). The authors concluded that this may have implications for the reliability of cost results because of variability by cost type and source.

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