A Comprehensive Algorithm for Approval of Health Technologies With, Without, or Only in Research: The Key Principles for Informing Coverage Decisions

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BACKGROUND: The value of evidence about the performance of a technology and the value of access to a technology are central to policy decisions regarding coverage with, without, or only in research and managed entry (or risk-sharing) agreements.

OBJECTIVES: We aim to outline the key principles of what assessments are needed to inform "only in research" (OIR) or "approval with research" (AWR) recommendations, in addition to approval or rejection.

METHODS: We developed a comprehensive algorithm to inform the sequence of assessments and judgments that lead to different types of guidance: OIR, AWR, Approve, or Reject. This algorithm identifies the order in which assessments might be made, how similar guidance might be arrived at through different combinations of considerations, and when guidance might change.

RESULTS: The key principles are whether the technology is expected to be cost-effective; whether the technology has significant irrecoverable costs; whether additional research is needed; whether research is possible with approval and whether there are opportunity costs that once committed by approval cannot be recovered; and whether there are effective price reductions. Determining expected cost-effectiveness is only a first step. In addition to AWR for technologies expected to be cost-effective and OIR for those not expected to be cost-effective, there are other important circumstances when OIR should be considered.

CONCLUSIONS: These principles demonstrate that cost-effectiveness is a necessary but not sufficient condition for approval. Even when research is possible with approval, OIR may be appropriate when a technology is expected to be cost-effective due to significant irrecoverable costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-891
Number of pages7
JournalValue in Health
Issue number6
Early online date11 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016, International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Published by Elsevier Inc.This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • cost-effectiveness
  • coverage with evidence development
  • health technology assessment
  • only in research

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