Value of information (VOI) is a tool that can be used to inform decisions concerning additional research in healthcare. VOI estimates the value of obtaining additional information and indicates the optimal design for additional research. Although it is recognized as good practice in handling uncertainty, it is still hardly used in decision making in the Netherlands.
This paper aims to examine the potential value of VOI, barriers and facilitators and the way forward with the use of VOI in the decision-making process for reimbursement of pharmaceuticals in the Netherlands.
Three focus group interviews were conducted with researchers, policy makers, and representatives of pharmaceutical companies.
The results revealed that although all stakeholders recognize the relevance of VOI, it is hardly used and many barriers to the performance and use of VOI were identified. One of these barriers is that not all uncertainties are easily incorporated in VOI, and the results may be biased if structural uncertainties are ignored. Furthermore, not all research designs indicated by VOI may be feasible in practice.
To fully embed VOI into current decision-making processes, a threshold incremental cost-effectiveness ratio and guidelines that clarify when and how VOI should be performed are needed. In addition, it should be clear to all stakeholders how the results of VOI are used in decision making.