The History and Future of the “ISPOR Value Flower”: Addressing Limitations of Conventional Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Published Apr 2022


Neumann PJ, Garrison LP, Willke RJ. The history and future of the “ISPOR Value Flower”: addressing limitations of conventional cost-effectiveness analysis. Value Health. 2022;25(4):558-565.


Objectives: Since its publication as part of the 2018 ISPOR Special Task Force (STF) on US Value Assessments, the “ISPOR value flower,” with its petals highlighting elements that may be overlooked or underappreciated in conventional drug value assessments, has been discussed and debated. We review the history of the value flower, describe recent developments, and consider implications for future value assessments.

Methods: We discuss various antecedents to the value flower, as well as conceptual and empirical articles published in the past 4 years.

Results: Since the publication of the ISPOR STF report, researchers have provided more rigorous theoretical and mathematical foundations for certain novel value elements (eg, severity of illness, value of insurance, value of hope) through “generalized risk-adjusted cost-effectiveness analysis,” which incorporates risk aversion in people’s preferences and uncertainty in treatment outcomes. Empirical estimates are also emerging to support key elements, such as insurance value, real option value, value of hope, and value of knowing. Although health technology assessment bodies have applied or are considering certain elements (eg, severity modifiers to cost-effectiveness thresholds), other elements have yet to gain traction.

Conclusions: Five years after the STF began its work, the development of novel value measures continues to evolve. Although it is encouraging to see supporting empirical studies emerging, more are needed. Additional efforts are also needed to illustrate how the estimates can be used in the deliberative processes that are integral to health technology assessments.

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