For the last two decades, the size of the literature that is based on the cost-effectiveness (CE) evaluations of pharmaceuticals has only been increasing, together with increasing sponsorship provided by manufacturing pharmaceutical industry.

The current study attempted to analyze the CE literature, in terms of changing trends overtime as well as the potential influence that industry funding has on results in the CE evaluations in literature.

Cancer drug-related literature was chosen as the target population of this study. Literature analyzed was that falling between 1991 and 2010, which was further divided into five blocks of 4-year periods for the purpose of description and analyses. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square tests were used to perform nonparametric statistics, with a p-value of <0.05 as the significance measure. Data entry and analyses were performed using SPSS-18.

The size of drug-related cancer CE literature is expanding, with a significant increase in the publishing in the health science and services type of journals. The number of CE studies sponsored by both industry and nonprofit institutes has especially been increasing as well (p-value 0.04). The prospective collection of data peaked at the 1999–2002 duration. The utilization of retrospective data however, has significantly (p-value 0.02) steadily been increasing. Interestingly, while paid consultation involvement grew throughout the years, the declaration of the funding for this involvement has progressively been lacking (p-value 0.015). Importantly, it seems that financial sponsorship by an industry is associated with favorable result to the sponsor (p-value 0.01). This did not exist when non-industry funding was also involved.

This is the first analysis of the pharmacoeconomics literature, whereby, it demonstrates a clear evolvement of the CE literature in terms of size and characteristics, together with an increase in financial sponsorship provided by pharmaceutical industries, which is associated with favorable results to sponsors.


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