Health economics needs to be included as an integral component of the translational research pathway to improve outcomes for patients, to achieve healthcare efficiency and to efficiently prioritize research investments. We recommend to:
Make the collection of data for an assessment of cost-effectiveness a mandatory part of all clinical research projects aimed at developing new preventive or therapeutic methods within the cancer mission.
Evaluate already existing methods (in fact deferred maintenance) as a validated reference.
All applications for clinical research grants should include a statement of how the project will contribute to the objectives of the mission, and a plan for how the impact should be assessed.
Support the development of a database carrying the relevant information to appraise cost-effectiveness of preventive and therapeutic innovations.
Support the advancement of methods that assess the social value of cancer care beyond aggregate gains in length and quality of life of patients, that are relevant for decisions about allocation of resources for cancer; severity of disease condition; necessity of intervention; prevalence of the condition; and impact on caregivers and dependents of patients.
Install a task force that continuously evaluates and reports on the cost-effectiveness of new innovations in prevention and therapeutics, as information to healthcare systems to decide on adoption and reimbursement. The task force should also assess if the cancer mission research programme achieves its objectives.