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In summary, it will be interesting to see the findings of work currently being commissioned by NICE. However, in trying to obtain a social valuation of a QALY, two important questions require deliberation and assessment. First, whose valuations are to be solicited and in what context? Second, what is the practical relevance of this given the budget constraints faced by health providers? Apart from these issues, several methodologic and empiric issues need to be addressed by health economists. Perhaps most importantly, further quantitative and qualitative research is needed in order to understand societys'/decision maker's objectives, since there might be little interest in maximizing in the first place and maximizing health, suggesting that the QALY measure itself is perhaps not a particularly good metric for utility or social welfare. Only once such research is conducted can the question of the appropriate values and weights for QALYs be fully understood. © 2005 Future Drugs Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research

Publication Date





667 - 669