The utility of high-tech drug analysis to the decision maker

The Health (Pricing and Supply) Act 2013 stipulates that the payer must consider the cost-effectiveness (the likelihood that the drug will offer value for money) and the likely cost impact of a new drug prior to deciding if it should be reimbursed. It also states that, after a 3-5 year period, continued reimbursement must be reviewed. Currently, this review is not informed by how the drug was used or how effective or safe it is.

All pharmacoeconomic evaluations (predicted cost-effectiveness and cost impact) of drugs, for which reimbursement by the healthcare payer is sought, are conducted by the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics. These evaluations are based on a range of assumptions, many of which are derived from clinical trials and may not be reflective of real-world effectiveness.

The reimbursement of certain high-cost drugs in the community setting is managed through the High-Tech Drug scheme. Expenditure on this scheme increased from

Award Date
24 February 2017
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Cathal Walsh
Host Institution
University of Limerick
Applied Partnership Awards