Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) for evaluating new medicines in Health Technology Assessment and beyond: The Advance Value Framework

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Escalating drug prices have catalysed the generation of numerous “value frameworks” with the aim of informing payers, clinicians and patients on the assessment and appraisal process of new medicines for the purpose of coverage and treatment selection decisions. Although this is an important step towards a more inclusive Value Based Assessment (VBA) approach, aspects of these frameworks are based on weak methodologies and could potentially result in misleading recommendations or decisions. In this paper, a Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) methodological process, based on Multi Attribute Value Theory (MAVT), is adopted for building a multi-criteria evaluation model. A five-stage model-building process is followed, using a top-down “value-focused thinking” approach, involving literature reviews and expert consultations. A generic value tree is structured capturing decision-makers’ concerns for assessing the value of new medicines in the context of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and in alignment with decision theory. The resulting value tree (Advance Value Tree) consists of three levels of criteria (top level criteria clusters, mid-level criteria, bottom level sub-criteria or attributes) relating to five key domains that can be explicitly measured and assessed: (a) burden of disease, (b) therapeutic impact, (c) safety profile (d) innovation level and (e) socioeconomic impact. A number of MAVT modelling techniques are introduced for operationalising (i.e. estimating) the model, for scoring the alternative treatment options, assigning relative weights of importance to the criteria, and combining scores and weights. Overall, the combination of these MCDA modelling techniques for the elicitation and construction of value preferences across the generic value tree provides a new value framework (Advance Value Framework) enabling the comprehensive measurement of value in a structured and transparent way. Given its flexibility to meet diverse requirements and become readily adaptable across different settings, the Advance Value Framework could be offered as a decision-support tool for evaluators and payers to aid coverage and reimbursement of new medicines.




Angelis, A., & Kanavos, P. (2017). Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) for evaluating new medicines in Health Technology Assessment and beyond: The Advance Value Framework. Social Science and Medicine, 188, 137–156.

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