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Epidemics ; 41: 100648, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2095324


OBJECTIVES: Disease transmission models are used in impact assessment and economic evaluations of infectious disease prevention and treatment strategies, prominently so in the COVID-19 response. These models rarely consider dimensions of equity relating to the differential health burden between individuals and groups. We describe concepts and approaches which are useful when considering equity in the priority setting process, and outline the technical choices concerning model structure, outputs, and data requirements needed to use transmission models in analyses of health equity. METHODS: We reviewed the literature on equity concepts and approaches to their application in economic evaluation and undertook a technical consultation on how equity can be incorporated in priority setting for infectious disease control. The technical consultation brought together health economists with an interest in equity-informative economic evaluation, ethicists specialising in public health, mathematical modellers from various disease backgrounds, and representatives of global health funding and technical assistance organisations, to formulate key areas of consensus and recommendations. RESULTS: We provide a series of recommendations for applying the Reference Case for Economic Evaluation in Global Health to infectious disease interventions, comprising guidance on 1) the specification of equity concepts; 2) choice of evaluation framework; 3) model structure; and 4) data needs. We present available conceptual and analytical choices, for example how correlation between different equity- and disease-relevant strata should be considered dependent on available data, and outline how assumptions and data limitations can be reported transparently by noting key factors for consideration. CONCLUSIONS: Current developments in economic evaluations in global health provide a wide range of methodologies to incorporate equity into economic evaluations. Those employing infectious disease models need to use these frameworks more in priority setting to accurately represent health inequities. We provide guidance on the technical approaches to support this goal and ultimately, to achieve more equitable health policies.

Samj South African Medical Journal ; 112(3):240-244, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1761104


Y Background. South Africa (SA) has embarked on a process to implement universal health coverage (UHC) funded by National Health Insurance (NHI). The 2019 NHI Bill proposes creation of a health technology assessment (HTA) body to inform decisions about which interventions NHI funds will cover under UHC. In practice, HTA often relies mainly on economic evaluations of cost-effectiveness and budget impact, with less attention to the systematic, specific consideration of important social, organisational and ethical impacts of the health technology in question. In this context, the South African Values and Ethics for Universal Health Coverage (SAVE-UHC) research project recognised an opportunity to help shape the health priority-setting process by providing a way to take account of multiple, ethically relevant considerations that reflect SA values. The SAVE-UHC Research Team developed and tested an SA-specific Ethics Framework for HTA assessment and analysis. Objectives. To develop and test an Ethics Framework for use in the SA context for health priority-setting. Methods. The Framework was developed iteratively by the authors and a multidisciplinary panel (18 participants) over a period of 18 months, using the principles outlined in the 2015 NHI White Paper as a starting point. The provisional Ethics Framework was then tested with multi-stakeholder simulated appraisal committees (SACs) in three provinces. The membership of each SAC roughly reflected the composition of a potential SA HTA committee. The deliberations and dedicated focus group discussions after each SAC meeting were recorded, analysed and used to refine the Framework, which was presented to the Working Group for review, comment and final approval. Results. This article describes the 12 domains of the Framework. The first four (Burden of the Health Condition, Expected Health Benefits and Harms, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis, and Budget Impact) are commonly used in HTA assessments, and a further eight cover the other ethical domains. These are Equity, Respect and Dignity, Impacts on Personal Financial Situation, Forming and Maintaining Important Personal Relationships, Ease of Suffering, Impact on Safety and Security, Solidarity and Social Cohesion, and Systems Factors and Constraints. In each domain are questions and prompts to enable use of the Framework by both analysts and assessors. Issues that arose, such as weighting of the domains and the availability of SA evidence, were discussed by the SACs. Conclusions. The Ethics Framework is intended for use in priority-setting within an HTA process. The Framework was well accepted by a diverse group of stakeholders. The final version will be a useful tool not only for HTA and other priority-setting processes in SA, but also for future efforts to create HTA methods in SA and elsewhere.

Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety ; 30(SUPPL 1):430, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1465780


Background: Better data on medicines use can inform better decisions, better health systems, and better patient outcomes. More African studies of medicines use are emerging, especially those using routinely-collected data. Such work is even more pressing given the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) - where medicines are often the mainstay of treatment - and additional challenges in financing sustainable health systems for universal health coverage and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Objective: To describe how medicines use studies can strengthen health systems (focus on Ghana). Methods: We identified sources of data: national health insurance systems (public and private);district level health information systems (DHIMS2);health service and hospital data;together with commercial local, regional, and global data. Data users need to be mindful of appropriate data governance and privacy of patient's records. Results and Conclusions: 1. Rational use of medicines: adherence with standard treatment guidelines, treatment pathways, potential cost savings, pharmacovigilance 2. Health Technology Assessment: key inputs for cost-effectiveness and budget impact analysis of medicines for inclusion within a benefits package. 3. Patterns of disease: explore prevalence and incidence of disease (especially NCDs) plus comorbidities using medicines use as a proxy for diseases, particularly in the absence of other high-quality epidemiological data. 4. Health Policy + Monitoring and Evaluation: developing essential medicines lists and treatment guidelines;key indicators in M&E of health systems. 5. Building research capacity: promoting researchers in pharmacoepidemiology using identified and accessible data sources. Initial steps in Africa can develop with continued training and support.