The Revised Canadian Guidelines for the Economic Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals
Judith L. Glennie
George W. Torrance
Jean Francois Baladi
The first edition of the Guidelines for Economic Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals: Canada was published in November 1994. At that time, the Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment (CCOHTA) was assigned the task of maintaining and regularly updating the Canadian Guidelines. Since their introduction, a great deal of experience has been gained with the practical application of the guidelines. Their role has also evolved over time, from being a framework for pharmacoeconomic research to the point where a wide variety of decision-makers use economic evaluations based on the principles set out in the guidelines as a means of facilitating their formulary decisions. In addition, methodologies in certain areas (and the body of related research literature in general) have developed considerably over time. Given these changes in the science and the experience gained, CCOHTA convened a multi-disciplinary committee to address the need for revisions to the guidelines. The underlying principles of the review process were to keep the guidance nature of the document, to focus on the needs of `doers' (so as to meet the information needs of `users') and to provide information and advice in areas of controversy, with sound direction in areas of general agreement. The purpose of this review is three-fold: 1. to outline the process which lead to the revision of the Canadian Guidelines; 2. to describe the major changes made to the second edition of this document; and 3. to consider the `next steps' as they relate to the impact of such guidelines and the measurement of outcomes related to economic assessments of pharmaceuticals in general.
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