Relative Drug Efficacy

The benefits associated with a particular drug are most often characterized by estimating its efficacy relative to other therapies available for treating the same indication – including placebo, standard of care, or other new therapies.  Depending on the disease area, relative efficacy is typically quantified using outcomes such as difference in median or mean survival time, or the relative effect of preventing an undesirable outcome as characterised by odds ratio, relative risk, or hazard ratio.  For some diseases, other measures of efficacy may be relevant, such as differences in clinical measures (e.g. lipid profiles, CD4 cell count).   Our epidemiology team has experience in estimating relative drug efficacy from a number of sources, including clinical trial data and the published literature.

Typically used methods include:

  • Meta Analysis
  • Network meta-analysis or mixed treatment comparisons

Resulting estimates of relative drug efficacy can be used in regulatory submissions, reimbursement dossiers, or as parameters within economic models to characterise the drug’s cost effectiveness profile relative to comparators.