Adopting Health Economic Research in Radiation Oncology: A Perspective From Low- or Middle-Income Countries

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Adopting Health Economic Research in Radiation Oncology: A Perspective From Low- or Middle-Income Countries


JournalJCO Global Oncology
Article typeJournal research article – Clinical research
Publication date – Jul – 2022
Authors – Shwetabh Sinha, Sarbani Ghosh Laskar, Tabassum Wadasadawala, Rahul Krishnatry, Yolande Lievens, Jai Prakash Agarwal
KeywordsHealth Economic, Low- or Middle-Income Countries, radiation therapy (RT), Research
Open access – Yes
SpecialitySurgical oncology
World region Global

Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on August 2, 2022 at 3:05 am
Abstract:

Establishing a new radiation therapy (RT) setup is resource-intensive as it involves substantial capital costs and the recruitment of a skilled workforce. It is essential to incorporate health economic analysis that estimates recurring and nonrecurring expenses on the basis of the national and local needs, infrastructure, and future projections. RT costing exercises can be especially relevant for low- or middle-income countries (LMICs) with more than 70% of the global cancer burden, with access to < 20% of the available resources. This review article summarizes the scope of RT costing exercises in LMICs, the hurdles in conducting them, and possible ways to circumvent them. The purpose of performing costing studies in RT lies in their utility to improve the efficiency of the investment while at the same time helping to address the issues of uniformity and equitable distribution of resources. This will help assess the net benefit from RT in terms of utility and outcome-linked parameters like Quality-Adjusted Life Years. There are numerous barriers to conducting economic evaluations in LMICs, including the lack of national costing values for equipment, data on manpower salary, cost for public and private setups, and indirect costs. The situation is further complicated because of the nonuniform pay structure, lack of an organizational framework, robust real-world data on outcomes, and nonavailability of country-specific reference utility values. Collaborative national efforts are required to collect all elements required to perform health technology assessments. Information from the national and hospital databases can be made available in the public domain to ease access and broader adoption of health economic end points in routine care. Although resource-intensive at the onset, costing studies and health economic assessments are essential for improving the coverage and quality of RT in LMICs.

OSI Number – 21695

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