Why Should Economic Evaluations of Medical Innovations Have a Societal Perspective?
32 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2015
Date Written: October 1, 2009
The aim of medical innovations is to improve health. A medical innovation can be defined as the application of new medical knowledge, often but not always embodied in a product, for example a pharmaceutical drug. Improved medical knowledge is the product of investments in medical research and/or knowledge created during the use of health technologies; for example from systematic evaluations and follow-up studies.
Studies have shown that improvements in health have created enormous value for society (Luce et al. 2006). Some of this value has been created from investments in medical research and the development of new medical technology, and some through the experiences gained from using these technologies in clinical practice. Some of the increased medical knowledge has improved health through changes in consumption and production patterns, for example reduced smoking and less use of hazardous chemicals.
Increasingly questions are asked about the value of new technologies for health improvements in relation to the price and cost of using them within the health care system. The quest for “value for money” in spending health care resources has led to the establishment of formal institutions and mechanisms for making choices on access and use of new technologies. Pharmaceutical drugs have been leading this trend, but similar demands are increasingly put on other products, diagnostic measures and different activities for prevention and health promotion.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation