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Health Economics Analysis Plans (HEAPs) currently lack consistency, with uncertainty surrounding appropriate content. We aimed to develop a list of essential items that should be included in HEAPs for economic evaluations conducted alongside randomised trials. A list of potential items for inclusion was developed by examining existing HEAPs.

An electronic Delphi survey was conducted among professional health economists. Respondents were asked to rate potential items from one (least) to nine (most) important, suggest additional items, and comment on proposed items (round one).

A second survey (round two) was emailed to participants, including the participant’s own scores from round one along with summary results from the whole panel; participants were asked to re-rate each item.

Consensus criteria for inclusion in the final list were predefined as great than 70% of participants rating an item seven to nine and less than 15% rating it one to three after round two. A final item selection meeting was held to scrutinise the results and adjudicate on items lacking consensus. The process resulted in 58 essential items that should be considered by HEAPs.