In order to assist health care decision-making, economists have proposed in the 80's to use Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) as indicator for Health Decision making. This indicator is supposed to enable an aggregation between life duration and the quality in which it will be lived, as well as comparisons between health care interventions across disease areas in the form of league tables.
Although the QALY indicator is often used, in particular by HTA agencies from Commonwealth countries such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence(NICE) in the UK, PBAC in Australia and CADTH in Canada, the issue of their validity and relevance have raised an active international debate, questioning the level of scientific evidence generated in studies using them and the equity issue about access to innovative health technologies.
This conference is organized by the European Consortium in Healthcare outcomes and Cost-Benefit Research which have handled the mission to test the validity of the assumptions of the QALY outcome (ECHOUTCOME Fp7 European project).
After reviewing how the QALY outcome is used in Health Technology Assessment, the results of the first large European validation test conducted in Europe will be presented and discussed during this conference, as well as new European Guidelines for conducting cost-effectiveness studies.
The program can be downloaded though the project web site or here