Quality of pharmacoeconomic research in China: A systematic review

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The number of pharmacoeconomic publications in the literature from China has risen rapidly, but the quality of pharmacoeconomic publications from China has not been analyzed.


This study aims to identify all recent pharmacoeconomic publications from China, to critically appraise the reporting quality, and to summarize the results.


Four databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Medline, and EmBase) were searched for original articles published up to December 31, 2014. The Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards statement including 24 items was used to assess the quality of reporting of these articles.


Of 1046 articles identified, 32 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. They were published in 23 different journals. Quality of reporting varied between studies, with an average score of 18.7 (SD = 4.33) out of 24 (range 9–23.5). There was an increasing trend of pharmacoeconomic publications and reporting quality over years from 2003 to 2014. According to the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards, the reporting quality for the items including “title,” “comparators of method,” and “measurement of effectiveness” are quite low, with less than 50% of studies fully satisfying these reporting standards. In contrast, reporting was good for the items including “introduction,” “study perspective,” “choice of health outcomes,” “study parameters,” “characterizing heterogeneity,” and “discussion,” with more than 75% of the articles satisfying these reporting criteria. The remaining items fell in between these 2 extremes, with 50% to 75% of studies satisfying these criteria.


Our study suggests the need for improvement in a number of reporting criteria. But the criteria for which reporting quality was low seem to be limitations that would be straightforward to correct in future studies.

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