LCP experts discuss how Real-World Evidence is reproducible, helping it to become easier to compare and evaluate

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New updates published in the Journal of Comparative Effectiveness by LCP experts Dr Sreeram (Ram) Ramagopalan and Dr Ben Bray, highlight new studies regarding reproducibility, better reporting and improved transparency, and discuss how these factors will be key to encouraging the wider use of Real-World Evidence when it comes to health technology assessments (HTA). 

In the most recent update, Ram and Ben share new research around the high reproducibility of real-world data (RWD) studies. A new study, known as the REPEAT study, analysed 150 RWD studies from four commonly used data sources in the US and the UK, finding that most of the studies were highly reproducible, with only a few outliers. Reproducibility means getting the same results again when analysing the same dataset to address the same research question. Together with better reporting and improved transparency, reproducibility is key for encouraging the wider scale use of RWD in HTA.  

The REPEAT team found that one of the key reasons for studies being less reproducible was because of reporting issues, for example, studies having incomplete information on design and analysis parameters. Ben and Ram reviewed the new HARPER (HARmonised Protocol Template to Enhance Reproducibility) template, which they believe may help break down these barriers. The template was developed by a joint taskforce between the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (IPSE) and The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research (IPSOR) and provides a standardized framework for reporting studies.

By using the HARPER template, hopefully researchers and HTA assessors can ensure that RWD studies are conducted and reported in a consistent and transparent manner, making it easier to compare and evaluate studies. 

Commenting on the new HARPER template, LCP Health Analytics Evidence Generation Lead Dr Ben Bray said, “The HARPER template is a welcome addition to the ‘toolkit’ of RWD studies. Whilst not all studies can be easily described into a ‘one-size-fits-all’ template, moving towards greater standardization in this space is key for improving the reporting, transparency and reproducibility of RWD studies.”

Commenting on what the REPEAT findings mean for the use of RWD in healthcare decision making, LCP Health Analytics Payer Evidence Lead Dr Sreeram Ramagopalan said, “The findings of the REPEAT study represent a significant advancement to help HTA decision makers get more comfortable in the reliability of RWD studies to support HTA assessment. As the number of RWD studies continue to grow globally, it is vital that they are conducted and reported in a standardized and transparent manner so that results can be trusted and used to inform better healthcare decision making.”

LCP’s Health Analytics team supports clients with developing evidence generation strategies, with a particular focus on RWE and value, evidence, and outcomes.  The team leverages their experience in clinical medicine, RWE methods, health economics and consulting, working in a highly collaborative way with clients to develop evidence generation plans to meet the needs of internal and external stakeholders. 

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