Conflict of Interest
Sponsorship bias in base-case values and uncertainty bounds of health economic evaluations? A systematic review of herpes zoster vaccination
Economic evaluations of vaccination programs may be biased when they are industry-funded.
Bilcke J, Verelst F, Beutels P. Sponsorship bias in base-case values and uncertainty bounds of health economic evaluations? A systematic review of herpes zoster vaccination. Medical Decision Making. 2018;38(6):730-745.
This study suggests that economic evaluations of vaccination programs have the potential to be biased when they are industry-funded. Industry-funded studies of shingles vaccination have reported more favorable cost-effectiveness ratios than non-industry funded studies. The authors caution researchers and decision-makers to be “aware of potential sponsorship bias” and also warn against cherry-picking, stating that evaluations “should consider all relevant data sources rather than (subjectively) selecting a subset of the available evidence.” In addition, they emphasize the importance of a “complete picture of the available evidence and uncertainty” when evaluating indicators such as disease burden and case fatality rate.