Pharmacoeconomics for migraine and headache researchers: basic concepts, methods and terminology
© Springer-Verlag Italia 2004
Received: 5 October 2004
Accepted: 16 October 2004
Pharmacoeconomics, the application of health economics to pharmaceuticals, is an increasingly important part of the evaluation of any therapy. It is a response to limitations on the resources available for medical care, and the need to justify how we spend these resources for the public good. This review summarises some of the key issues in pharmacoeconomics, drawing examples from the literature on migraine or headaches. It describes how pharmacoeconomics is fundamentally comparative, and must be based on real world practice rather than on clinical trials. An important point is what outcomes in migraine might be used in such studies. The types of studies commonly encountered are detailed. These examples illustrate some of the limitations of the process: a risk of industry driven bias, and a draw of money into the areas evaluated (e. g., acute therapies) rather than those not considered (e. g., longterm therapies).