Pharmacoeconomics. 2023 Sep 14. doi: 10.1007/s40273-023-01314-2. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: When utilities are analyzed by time to death (TTD), this has historically been implemented by ‘grouping’ observations as discrete time periods to create health state utilities. We extended the approach to use continuous functions, avoiding assumptions around groupings. The resulting models were used to test the concept with data from different regions and different country tariffs.
METHODS: Five-year follow-up in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was used to fit six continuous TTD models using generalized estimating equations, which were compared with progression-based utilities and previously published TTD groupings. Sensitivity analyses were performed using only patients with a confirmed death, the last year of life only, and artificially censoring data at 24 months. The statistically best-fitting model was then applied to data subsets by region and different EQ-5D-3L country tariffs.
RESULTS: Continuous (natural) [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] models outperformed other continuous models, grouped TTD, and progression-based models in statistical fit (mean absolute error and Quasi Information Criterion). This held through sensitivity and scenario analyses. The pattern of reduced utility as a patient approaches death was consistent across regions and EQ-5D tariffs using the preferred [Formula: see text] model.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of continuous models provides a statistically better fit than TTD groupings, without the need for strong assumptions about the health states experienced by patients. Where a TTD approach is merited for use in modelling, continuous functions should be considered, with the scope for further improvements in statistical fit by both widening the number of candidate models tested and the therapeutic areas investigated.