Including Carer Utility Values in HTAs

The Inclusion of the Utility Values for Carers and Family Members in HTAs: a Case Study of Recent NICE Appraisals in the UK

Basarir H, Brockbank J, Knight C, Wolowacz S.


Caring for a family member or friend with a serious health condition is often considered a calling. Often though, the responsibility can have a profound impact on the carer’s quality of life. Effective treatments can benefit caregivers as well as patients. However, inclusion of caregiver benefits into economic evaluations is often hindered by uncertainty about whether decision-makers will allow it, how it may be incorporated into economic models, and whether suitable data are available.

We looked at all NICE appraisals completed in 2018, whether caregiver utility had been included. Although the NICE Methods Guide clearly states that caregiver utility should be included in the economic evaluation, where relevant, among the 58 appraisals completed in 2018, only 3 included it. In 2 appraisals where carer utility was not included, the Appraisal Committee specifically pointed out that it was relevant.

This evidence from recent appraisals suggests that there is still a lag in the practice of inclusion of caregiver utility in economic evaluations submitted for reimbursement, and it’s likely that many appraisals fail to capture all benefits of the treatments being evaluated.

Click here to see details of this research as well as a summary of HTA agency guidelines on the inclusion of carer/family member utility, and recent approaches to its measurement and incorporation into economic models submitted to NICE.