Accessibility statement

Research Prioritisation (Uncertainty analysis, and research prioritisation and commissioning)


Contact: Claire Rothery

The pressure for health systems to become “early adopters” of promising new technologies has caused increased tension between innovation, access, and efficiency. Early access to new medicines is important to patients, but an evidence base that is premature can carry substantial risk and uncertainty for patient outcomes. A decision made too early could result in a waste of resources on cost-ineffective or even harmful practices, which are often difficult to eliminate once diffused. Rapid approval of new medicines can also result in disincentive effects to invest in further research that would reduce uncertainty and risk to patients. Conversely, if the decision to adopt is delayed until further research is conducted this runs the risk of patients being denied access to a clinically important and cost-effective intervention. Therefore, decision makers must decide how to balance the value of delaying adoption until better information becomes available against the value of providing patients with early access. This requires an assessment of the value of further research to reduce uncertainty.

The value of information (VOI) also plays a key role in research prioritisation and commissioning decisions. Most research funders have limited resources and need to identify high-priority areas for further research. By studying the benefits and costs of each new proposed intervention and the value of information to reduce uncertainty it becomes possible to identify topics where further research offers the greatest value. Research funders can then rank topics in order of value to determine areas of high priority. CHE research in this area covers:

  • Uncertainty analysis and Value of Information (VOI) analysis
  • Research prioritisation decisions
  • Optimal research design
  • Coverage with evidence development, only in research, and risk sharing schemes
  • Price thresholds, value based pricing, and the value of information
  • Value of implementation



Garrison LP, Jansen J, Devlin N, Griffin S. Novel approaches to value assessment within the cost-effectiveness framework. Value in Health 2019;22(6):S12-S17. 

Love-Koh J. How useful are early economic models? Comment on “problems and promises of health technologies: The role of early health economic modelling”. International Journal of Health Policy and Management 2019;doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2019.119. 

Saramago Goncalves P, Espinoza MA, Sutton AJ, Manca A, Claxton K. The value of further research: The added value of individual-participant level data. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy 2019;17(3):273-284. 


Ciani, O., Epstein, D., Rothery, C., Taylor, R. S. & Sculpher, M. Decision uncertainty and value of further research: a case-study in fenestrated endovascular aneurysm repair for complex abdominal aortic aneurysms Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation; 16, 15 (2018)

Woods B, Rothery C, Anderson S-J, Eaton JW, Revill P, Hallett TB, Claxton K. Appraising the value of evidence generation activities: An HIV Modelling Study. BMJ Global Health 2018;3(6):e000488.

Woods, B. S., Rothery, C., Revill, P., Hallett, T. & Phillips, A. Setting research priorities in Global Health: appraising the value of evidence generation activities to support decision-making in health care Jun 2018, York: Centre for Health Economics, University of York, p. 1-54, 55 p. (CHE Research Paper; no. 155)


Rothery C, Claxton K, Palmer S, Epstein D, Tarricone R, Sculpher M. Characterising uncertainty in the assessment of medical devices and determining future research needs. Health Economics 2017;26(S1):109-123.


Claxton K, Palmer S, Longworth L, Bojke L, Griffin S, Soares M, Spackman E, Rothery C. A comprehensive algorithm for approval of health technologies with, without, or only in research: the key principles for informing coverage decisions. Value in Health 2016

McKenna C, Griffin S, Koffijberg H, Claxton K. Methods to place a value on additional evidence are illustrated using a case study of corticosteroids after traumatic brain injury. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2016 Feb;70:183-90.


Claxton K, Griffin S, Koffijberg H, McKenna C. How to estimate the health benefits of additional research and changing clinical practice. British Medical Journal 2015; 351

McKenna C, Soares M, Claxton K, Bojke L, Griffin S, Palmer S, Spackman E. Unifying research and reimbursement decisions: Case studies demonstrating the sequence of assessment and judgments required. Value in Health 2015 18(6):865-75


Claxton K, Griffin S, Koffijberg H, McKenna C. Expected health benefits of additional evidence: Principles, methods and applications. CHE Research Paper 83. Centre for Health Economics, University of York.

Soares M.O., Dumville J.C., Ashby R.L., Iglesias C.P., Bojke L., Adderley U., McGinnis E., Stubbs N., Torgerson D.J., Claxton K., Cullum N.  Methods to assess cost-effectiveness and value of further research when data are sparse: negative-pressure wound therapy for severe pressure ulcers. Medical Decision Making 2013 33(3):415-36

Longworth L., Youn J., Bojke L., Palmer S., Griffin S., Spackman E., Claxton K. When does NICE recommend the use of health technologies within a programme of evidence development? : a systematic review of NICE guidance.  Pharmacoeconomics 2013 31(2):137-49


Claxton K, Palmer S, Longworth L, Bojke L, Griffin S, McKenna C, Soares M, Spackman E, Youn J. Informing a decision framework for when NICE should recommend the use of health technologies only in the context of an appropriately designed programme of evidence development. Health Technology Assessment 2012 16(46):1-323

Walker S, Sculpher M, Claxton K, Palmer S. Coverage with evidence development, only in research, risk sharing, or patient access scheme? A framework for coverage decisions. Value in Health 2012 15(3):570-9


McKenna C, Claxton K. Addressing adoption and research design decisions simultaneously: the role of value of sample information analysis. Medical Decision Making 2011 31(6):853-65

Griffin SC, Claxton KP, Palmer SJ, Sculpher MJ. Dangerous omissions: the consequences of ignoring decision uncertainty. Health Economics 2011 20(2):212-24