Economic evaluation guidelines in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review

C. Daccache, R. Rizk, J. Dahham, S.M.A.A. Evers, M. Hiligsmann*, R. Karam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)


Objectives To systematically identify the latest versions of official economic evaluation guidelines (EEGs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and explore similarities and differences in their content. Methods We conducted a systematic search in MEDLINE (Ovid), PubMed, EconLit, Embase (Ovid), the Cochrane Library, and the gray literature. Using a predefined checklist, we extracted the key features of economic evaluation and the general characteristics of EEGs. We conducted a comparative analysis, including a summary of similarities and differences across EEGs. Results Thirteen EEGs were identified, three pertaining to lower-middle-income countries (Bhutan, Egypt, and Indonesia), nine to upper-middle-income countries (Brazil, China, Colombia, Cuba, Malaysia, Mexico, Russian Federation, South Africa, and Thailand), in addition to Mercosur, and none to low-income countries. The majority (n = 12) considered cost-utility analysis and health-related quality-of-life outcome. Half of the EEGs recommended the societal perspective, whereas the other half recommended the healthcare perspective. Equity considerations were required in ten EEGs. Most EEGs (n = 11) required the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio and recommended sensitivity analysis, as well as the presentation of a budget impact analysis (n = 10). Seven of the identified EEGs were mandatory for pharmacoeconomics submission. Methodological gaps, contradictions, and heterogeneity in terminologies used were identified within the guidelines. Conclusion As the importance of health technology assessment is increasing in LMICs, this systematic review could help researchers explore key aspects of existing EEGs in LMICs and explore differences among them. It could also support international organizations in guiding LMICs to develop their own EEGs and improve the methodological framework of existing ones.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2021


  • Economic evaluation
  • Economics pharmaceutical
  • Guidelines
  • Technology assessment
  • Low- and middle-income countries

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