Valorization of clinical trials from the Italian National Health Service perspective: definition and first application of a model to estimate avoided costs
Introduction: From the perspective of healthcare organizations and public health care systems, the value of a clinical trial can be assessed from a clinical and economical perspective. However, to date, there is no standardized model for systematically capturing the economic value of clinical trials at organizational and system levels. The aim of this study was to develop and test a methodology for estimating the avoided costs deriving from the management of patients as part of a clinical trial.
Methods: Our methodology is based on the assumption that the economic value of a clinical trial derives from 1) the funding received by the experimental site from a trial’s sponsor, and from 2) the cost avoided by the experimental site with the treatment of patients within a study and not according to standard care by the experimental site.
Results: By applying the methodology to onco-hematological clinical trials conducted in two academic hospitals from 2011 to 2016, we demonstrate that savings between 2 million and 4 million euros were achieved over a five-year period. Thus, for every 1,000 euros invested by the pharmaceutical company into the clinical studies conducted at these hospitals, the hospitals saved on average 2,200 euros due to costs not incurred as a result of the trials.
Conclusions: The study has proposed and tested a methodology for estimating the economic value of clinical trials by taking into account avoided costs deriving from the treatment of patients enrolled in sponsored trials. The study has proposed a management tool for healthcare institutions to govern clinical trials.
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