Comparing the ICERs in Medicine Reimbursement Submissions to NICE and PBAC—Does the Presence of an Explicit Threshold Affect the ICER Proposed?

Aug 1, 2018, 00:00 AM
Section Order : 8
First Page : 938


The English National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) require evidence that a new medicine represents value for money before being publicly funded. NICE has an explicit threshold for cost effectiveness, whereas PBAC does not. We compared the initial incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) presented by manufacturers in matched submissions to each decision-making body, with the aim of exploring the impact of an explicit threshold on these ICERs.


Data were extracted from matched submissions from 2005 to 2015. The ICERs in these submissions were compared within each pair and with respect to a cost-effectiveness threshold.


Fifty-eight pairs of matched submissions were identified. The median difference between the ICERs ($2635/quality-adjusted life year [QALY]) was significantly greater than zero (Wilcoxon signed-rank test, P = 0.0299), indicating that the proposed ICERs in the submissions to NICE were higher than those in the matched submissions to PBAC. On 93% of occasions, NICE ICERs were within –$17,772 to +$48,422 of the corresponding PBAC ones (Bland-Altman analysis), demonstrating poor agreement. When an implicit threshold of AUD$50,000/QALY was assumed for PBAC decision making, only eight pairs of submissions had discordant ICERs falling above or below the respective threshold.


The significantly higher ICERs in the submissions to NICE than those to PBAC may be a consequence of NICE’s explicit willingness-to-pay threshold, and/or other health system factors. Industry may be assuming an implicit threshold for PBAC when constructing their ICERs despite the lack of acknowledgement of such a threshold.
HEOR Topics :
Tags :
  • incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER)
  • NICE
  • PBAC
  • reimbursement
  • threshold
Regions :