A Comparison of Four Software Programs for Implementing Decision Analytic Cost-Effectiveness Models

A Comparison of Four Software Programs for Implementing Decision Analytic Cost-Effectiveness Models The volume and technical complexity of both academic and commercial research using decision analytic modelling has increased rapidly over the last two decades. The range of software programs used for their implementation has also increased, but it remains true that a small number of programs account for the vast majority of cost-effectiveness modelling work. We report a comparison of four software programs: TreeAge Pro, Microsoft Excel, R and MATLAB. Our focus is on software commonly used for building Markov models and decision trees to conduct cohort simulations, given their predominance in the published literature around cost-effectiveness modelling. Our comparison uses three qualitative criteria as proposed by Eddy et al.: “transparency and validation”, “learning curve” and “capability”. In addition, we introduce the quantitative criterion of processing speed. We also consider the cost of each program to academic users and commercial users. We rank the programs based on each of these criteria. We find that, whilst Microsoft Excel and TreeAge Pro are good programs for educational purposes and for producing the types of analyses typically required by health technology assessment agencies, the efficiency and transparency advantages of programming languages such as MATLAB and R become increasingly valuable when more complex analyses are required. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png PharmacoEconomics Springer Journals

A Comparison of Four Software Programs for Implementing Decision Analytic Cost-Effectiveness Models

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Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer International Publishing Switzerland
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes; Quality of Life Research; Health Economics; Health Administration; Public Health
ISSN
1170-7690
eISSN
1179-2027
D.O.I.
10.1007/s40273-017-0510-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The volume and technical complexity of both academic and commercial research using decision analytic modelling has increased rapidly over the last two decades. The range of software programs used for their implementation has also increased, but it remains true that a small number of programs account for the vast majority of cost-effectiveness modelling work. We report a comparison of four software programs: TreeAge Pro, Microsoft Excel, R and MATLAB. Our focus is on software commonly used for building Markov models and decision trees to conduct cohort simulations, given their predominance in the published literature around cost-effectiveness modelling. Our comparison uses three qualitative criteria as proposed by Eddy et al.: “transparency and validation”, “learning curve” and “capability”. In addition, we introduce the quantitative criterion of processing speed. We also consider the cost of each program to academic users and commercial users. We rank the programs based on each of these criteria. We find that, whilst Microsoft Excel and TreeAge Pro are good programs for educational purposes and for producing the types of analyses typically required by health technology assessment agencies, the efficiency and transparency advantages of programming languages such as MATLAB and R become increasingly valuable when more complex analyses are required.

Journal

PharmacoEconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: May 9, 2017

References

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