Does a Standard Cost-Effectiveness Threshold Exist? The Case of Greece [Editor's choice]



This study aimed to systematically review the use of cost-effectiveness (CE) threshold for evaluating pharmacological interventions in Greece.


A systematic search of PubMed and ScienceDirect was conducted between January 2009 and June 2022. The data of selected studies were extracted using a relevant form and consequently were synthesized. Qualitative variables were presented with relative frequencies (%) and quantitative variables with median and interquartile range (IQR).


From the 302 identified studies, 83 satisfied the inclusion criteria. Studies were categorized to oncology (26.5%) and a nononcology related (73.5%) based on drug treatment. The most frequently reported outcome associated with CE threshold was the “per quality-adjusted life-year gained.” A total of 32.5% of the studies with a reported threshold did not specify the origin of the threshold. From the rest of studies, the vast majority (92.8%) adopted thresholds equal to 1 to 3 times the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, whereas the rest similar to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. The median CE threshold was differentiated between oncology (€51 000 [IQR €50 000-€60 000]) and nononcology studies (€34 000 [IQR €30 000-€36 000]; P .001). In both type of studies, the median CE thresholds were not statistically significantly different among GDP, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and not specified approaches.


Aligned with other countries where there is no standard CE threshold to promote efficient use of healthcare resources, the most prominent practice in Greece was found to be that of 1 to 3 times the GDP per capita irrespective of type of treatment or outcome studied.


Charalampos Tzanetakos George Gourzoulidis

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