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A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Affiliated to the and to the International Research Group of Immunoscintigraphy
Indexed/Abstracted in: Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 2,413
Online ISSN 1827-1936
ECONOMICS OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE
Guest Editor: Gambhir S. S.
Gambhir S. S. *, Schwimmer J.
From the Crump Institute for Biological Imaging and Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology the Division of Nuclear Medicine
*Department of Biomathematics UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, California, USA
Background. The growing need for evaluation of the utility of new nuclear medicine technologies has spawned a few economic studies ranging from preliminary indications of cost savings to complete decision analysis models incorporating costs and quality of life. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the methodological quality of economic analyses of nuclear medicine procedures which targeted cost-effectiveness or cost-utility issues published in the medical literature during the years 1985-1999.
Methods. A computerized literature search was used to identify original investigations from the medical literature which included an economic analysis of a nuclear medicine procedure. Each economic analysis article was evaluated by two independent reviewers for adherence to ten accepted methodological criteria.
Results. Of the 29 articles meeting the search criteria, only six (21%) conformed to all ten methodological criteria.
Conclusions. Published economic analyses of nuclear medicine procedures usually do not meet accepted methodological standards and could be significantly improved to achieve overall better quality relative to similar analyses in the literature from other medical fields. Continued improvement in the number and quality of economic studies is critically needed for the future competitiveness of nuclear medicine studies.