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Integrating health economics modeling in the product development cycle of medical devices: A Bayesian approach

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2008

Laura Vallejo-Torres*
Brunel University
Lotte M. G. Steuten
Brunel University
Martin J. Buxton
Brunel University
Alan J. Girling
University of Birmingham
Richard J. Lilford
University of Birmingham
Terry Young
Brunel University
Corresponding author. Laura Vallejo-Torres, Multidisciplinary Assessment of Technology Centre for Healthcare (MATCH), Health Economics Research Group, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, United Kingdom. Email:, Phone: +44 (0)1895 267394. Fax: +44 (0)1895 269708.


Objectives: Medical device companies are under growing pressure to provide health-economic evaluations of their products. Cost-effectiveness analyses are commonly undertaken as a one-off exercise at the late stage of development of new technologies; however, the benefits of an iterative use of economic evaluation during the development process of new products have been acknowledged in the literature. Furthermore, the use of Bayesian methods within health technology assessment has been shown to be of particular value in the dynamic framework of technology appraisal when new information becomes available in the life cycle of technologies.

Methods: In this study, we set out a methodology to adapt these methods for their application to directly support investment decisions in a commercial setting from early stages of the development of new medical devices.

Results and Conclusions: Starting with relatively simple analysis from the very early development phase and proceeding to greater depth of analysis at later stages, a Bayesian approach facilitates the incorporation of all available evidence and would help companies to make better informed choices at each decision point.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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