The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) in the United States recently published a 2020 update to its value assessment framework. We are commenting on the method by which the benefits of health interventions are integrated, relating to contextual considerations and other factors relevant to an intervention’s value. We start by discussing the theoretical foundations of decision analysis and its extension to multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA). Then we provide a detailed, evidence-based response to some of the claims made by ICER with regard to the use of MCDA methods and stakeholder engagement. Finally, we provide a number of recommendations on the use of quantitative decision analysis and decision conferencing that could be of relevance to the ICER methodology. Overall, we agree that some of the proposed changes by ICER are moving in the right direction toward improving transparency in the value assessment process, but these changes are probably inadequate. We advocate that more serious attention should be paid to the use of quantitative decision analysis together with decision conferencing for the construction of value preferences via group processes for the integration of an intervention’s various benefit components.
Aris Angelis Panos Kanavos Lawrence D. Phillips