WAIKOLOA, Hawaii — Different groups of people will measure, interpret and understand cost-effectiveness in different ways, a speaker said here.
Offering his “guiding thoughts,” Andrew P. Schachat, MD, said at Retina 2013, “Cost is easier to measure, usually, than effectiveness.”
Andrew P. Schachat
“There are a number of ways to measure effectiveness,” Schachat said, among them being number needed to treat (NNT), visual acuity outcomes and quality of life outcomes.
NNT is the number of patients who need to be treated to prevent one additional bad outcome, such as a loss of three ETDRS lines, he said.
“For example, if a drug has an NNT of 5, it means you have to treat five people with the drug to prevent one additional bad outcome,” Schachat said. “Four of the patients who are not helped are still exposed to the possible side effects and costs of using that drug.”
Patients, though, may prefer the data on primary outcomes to be translated into quality of life or visual function measures, which are more meaningful to them.
“Bottom line interpretations vary,” Schachat said. “Our role is to present the data to the patient. Different patients are going to view the effectiveness data and the safety data differently.”
Disclosure: Schachat has no relevant financial disclosures.