By Robert Hand ([email protected])

As a health economist and outcomes researcher, you may work primarily within a single country. Naturally, you know the economic, regulatory, and management issues of that country. However, with globalisation, you need increasingly to be aware of the corresponding conditions around the world.

Why? Individual countries or cooperative groups of countries can differ markedly in how they regulate pharmaceutical development and marketing, control the pricing of pharmaceuticals and other aspects of healthcare, and pay for healthcare. All these factors significantly affect health economics.

Most pharmaceutical and healthcare device companies already have to adapt their operations to do business across borders. Often, their research involves studies conducted in two or more countries. Of course, once a new product or service is developed and approved, the manufacturer has to contend with marketing it in different countries.

As a researcher, how can you keep abreast of the varying international environments? One place to start is with “Pharmacoconomic Guidelines Around the World,” at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) website.

Derived from an article by Tony YH Tam and Marilyn Dix Smith in ISPOR Connections (volume 10, number 4, August 2004), the webpage presents guidelines that can be used as standards for preparing studies for inclusion in an application for reimbursement, guides for designing and conducting studies, or templates for evaluating economic study report.

The current set includes 28 guidelines from 23 countries, grouped as Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Northern America, Eastern Asia, and Oceania. Guidelines are presented as hyperlinks, full text (as copyright permission allows), or publication reference.

Among the guidelines are 21 pharmacoeconomic guidelines, six submission guidelines, and one guideline for journal publication.

The webpage also includes a comparative table of 32 key features of the guidelines. These include the type, title, and year of the document, main policy objectives, standard reporting formats included, target audience, and the various analytical factors used.