“Cost-effectiveness modelling of percutaneous coronary interventions in stable coronary artery disease” – the article discusses the different approaches and compares their cost-effectiveness profiles in the patients suffering from stable coronary artery disease. The full article is available on the web site of the journal: http://www.wjgnet.com/1949-8462/full/v7/i10/594.htm.
New articles published about the interest of the BeautyQoL instrument for measuring the Quality of Life in cosmetology
The BeautyQoL instrument designed specifically to measure the quality of life impacted by the cosmetic products and procedures as well as by the changes in the physical appearance, has been the subject of two recent publications:
More information on BeautyQoL can be found here.
THE INTERNATIONALLY VALIDATED QUALITY OF LIFE INSTRUMENT BEAUTYQOL PROVIDES SCIENTIFIC PROOF ABOUT THE LINK BETWEEN PHYSICAL APPEARANCE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
What if cosmetic products and interventions could not only improve one’s physical appearance but also one’s quality of life and its different dimensions – emotional life, relationships, energy level, mood etc.? As we all know, looking good has always been associated with feeling good. For the first time, this correlation can be scientifically proved with the internationally validated Quality of Life instrument called BeautyQoL®. This original initiative, supported by L’Oréal Research & Innovation, has been developed in collaboration with an international expert panel composed of dermatologists, plastic surgeons, evaluation specialists and mathematicians, and is the subject of a recent article published by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology:“Quality of life assessment in cosmetics: specificity and interest of the international BeautyQol instrument”.
The BeautyQoL® instrument, is composed of 42 questions covering different aspects related to Quality of Life and has been validated in 16 languages and 13 countries. Not only is BeautyQoL® specific to cosmetic products and physical appearance but also thanks to its advanced scoring procedure and comprehensive analytical potential, it is highly sensitive and is capable of capturing even smallest variations in Quality of Life, brought about by the use of innovative cosmetic and beauty care products, or changes in the physical appearance following aesthetic interventions.
Our society values beauty, youth and health. Therefore, people living with various physical appearance issues, distinctive aesthetic features or noticeable skin conditions can feel a great strain on their lives, the repercussions of which can be quite significant, influencing their emotional, professional and social interactions and overall well-being. According to the World Health Organization’s determination of health, it is not only about the absence of disease but about a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Therefore, if an instrument such as BeautyQoL® can prove the link between the improved physical appearance and improved well-being – another paramount pillar of our society – it can contribute to demonstrating the added value of cosmetic interventions on Quality of Life – and indirectly health – which goes well beyond the superficial dimension that the use of cosmetics used to be associated with.
Dr Ariel Beresniak, Chief Executive Officer of Data Mining International, an independent research agency based in Geneva, Switzerland, and project leader of the BeautyQoL® international initiative, said: “The BeautyQoL® questionnaire is the only existing instrument in the world specifically built to discriminate small differences of Quality of Life cross-culturally, relevant to cosmetics and physical appearance, thus providing the most robust tool for scientific and market research applications in cosmetology.” The BeautyQoL® instrument is currently being used in various studies promoted either by cosmetic and beauty care industry or by academic research organizations.
As BeautyQoL® measures the improvement in quality of life related to physical appearance, its potential applications are wide-ranging, including for valuing and differentiating cosmetic and beauty care products, dermatological treatments, aesthetic procedures, anti-ageing interventions, plastic surgeries, aesthetic dentistry, etc. The BeautyQoL® instrument being specially designed and internationally validated to assess physical appearance and quality of life, it represents an important advancement in the field of quality of life and health outcomes research. By generating robust quantitative evidence, for the first time, BeautyQoL® enables to scientifically assess and firmly establish the humanistic benefits of improving quality of life and overall well-being related to physical appearance.
Beresniak A, Auray JP, Duru G, Aractingi S, Krueger GG, Talarico S, Tsutani K, Dupont D, de Linares Y, Quality of life assessment in cosmetics: specificity and interest of the international BeautyQol instrument, J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Sep;14(3):260-5.
Beresniak A, de Linares Y, Krueger GG, Talarico S, Tsutani K, Duru G, Berger G. Validation of a New International Quality-of-life Instrument Specific to Cosmetics and Physical Appearance. BeautyQoL Questionnaire. Arch Dematol 2012; 148 (11): 1275-1282
Data Mining International is a Partner of the first edition of the Summer School on Science in Society related issues on Pandemics in the frame of the European Commission funded project “ASSET” (http://www.asset-scienceinsociety.eu)
Date : Sep 21-24, 2015
Location: Rome (Italy)
- Governance of flu pandemics
- Unsolved scientific questions related to Pandemics and Epidemics
- Crisis participatory governance
- Ethical, legal and societal implications of pandemics
- Gender pattern – vulnerability
- Economic evaluation of response strategies
- Risk of intentionally caused outbreaks
More information is available on the “Summer School on Science in Society Related issues on Pandemic” Web page:
“Decision-making that saves lives” – a new article published by the ZILLION INTERNATIONAL about the flawed QALY approach revealed through the ECHOUTCOME Project
xx edition 2014
Ariel Beresniak, CEO of Data Mining International SA, warns of the perils of bad calculations in standards used in the health sector. One example is the Quality Adjusted Life Years index (QALY) used in the UK by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which, according to a study they conducted, is flawed and should be discontinued. The company -with its broad experience in the health sector- helps companies assess their risks, prioritise and make better use of data.
Imagine your life was threatened by a disease. Now imagine that there’s a drug that can save your life but, because of a miscalculation, isn’t approved and you cannot receive it. This frightening reality was exposed by Data Mining International, the independent Swiss company that –through a European Commission research grant– came to the conclusion that the QALY index is a flawedelementintheNationalInstitute for Health and Care Excellence’s decision making process.
During the research project –won by a European research consortium lead by Data Mining International over several highly competitive projects–, they debunked the presumption that health could be expressed with a simple multiplication. Through many robust methods of analysis, the company concluded that the QALY approach did not meet the basic requirements to be considered serious scientific criteria. “The QALY approach is flawed,” says Mr. Beresniak. “We definitely, from a scientific standpoint, should not use QALY in any kind of decision making, much less in one that’s related to human life. We need to propose alternatives,” he warns.
What comes next? Mr. Beresniak warns that the first step after having confirmed the flaw in the calculation is to not use the approach outside the UK and find a better way to express the cost-effectiveness of the drug. “It is not fair for the citizen’s social security to not have access to a drug just because of this flawed approach,” says Mr. Beresniak.
Data Mining International was established in 2004. During its ten year tenure it has garnered experience in offering risk assessment programs to companies so that they may compare different strategies and objectives according to multiple criteria and can rank and assess the risk factor in their operations. Additionally, they offer services in cost-effectiveness evaluation and portfolio prioritisation. “Big companies often undertake many projects at once that require attention and resources. We have developed a unique way to prioritise them using advanced mathematical multi-criteria methods which we adapt, customise and program according to tailor-made solutions,” Mr. Beresniak states.
The methods used by some countries to decide which medical treatments should be made available to patients are dangerously flawed and should be abandoned. This conclusion is based on the ECHOUTCOME research project funded by the European Commission, and led by Data Mining International, a Swiss independent research agency.
The full results, recently published in a peer-reviewed scientific article, highlight major failings in the way that some Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies, such as the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), recommend which treatments should be made available to patients, and warn against this system being adopted elsewhere in Europe or beyond. NICE assesses innovative medicines and recommends whether or not to provide access to treatment using Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY), a formula that weighs life duration with quality of life.
The findings show that perception about health cannot be captured using a simple multiplication. In addition, the project tracked various situations (“counter-examples”) leading to divergent results derived from the same dataset, confirming that the QALY approach does not meet basic requirements for serious scientific evidence. According to scientific reasoning, a theory is valid until one single counter-example invalidates this theory. If so, the theory is considered as a metaphysical doctrine.
Ariel Beresniak, CEO of Data Mining International specialized in providing robust cost-effectiveness alternative solutions, said: “Patients associations should be aware that life-saving treatmentsare denied based on a flawed metric.This research provides strong scientific evidence that QALYs produce hugely inconsistent, wrong results, based on which important decisions are still being made in Europe. HTA agencies promoting QALY should abandon this metric in favour of robust methods if they want to protect citizens”.
While many users acknowledge that the QALY outcome is ‘not perfect’, they insist that it would be the ‘best method available’ for resource allocation decisions. Beresniak said that maintaining such defensive attitude could denote a lack of attention towards patient populations. In the aviation industry, when misconceptions are identified for an aircraft, the model is usually grounded until it can be either fixed or replaced.
The article concludes that QALY is an invalid method for assisting health decisions, and should be immediately replaced by other robust cost-effectiveness methods.
Beresniak A et al. Validation of the Underlying Assumptions of the Quality-Adjusted Life-Years Outcome: Results from the ECHOUTCOME European Project. Pharmacoeconomics. 2014 Sep 18
The full publication revealing the results of the ECHOUTCOME project has been published in September 2014:
Beresniak A, Medina-Lara A, Auray JP, De Wever A, Praet JC, Tarricone R, Torbica A, Dupont D, Lamure M, Duru G. Validation of the Underlying Assumptions of the Quality-Adjusted Life-Years Outcome: Results from the ECHOUTCOME European Project. Pharmacoeconomics. 2014 Sep 18.
Validation of the Underlying Assumptions of the Quality-Adjusted Life-Years Outcome: Results from the ECHOUTCOME European Project.
BACKGROUND: Quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) have been used since the 1980s as a standard health outcome measure for conducting cost-utility analyses, which are often inadequately labeled as ‘cost-effectiveness analyses’. This synthetic outcome, which combines the quantity of life lived with its quality expressed as a preference score, is currently recommended as reference case by some health technology assessment (HTA) agencies. While critics of the QALY approach have expressed concerns about equity and ethical issues, surprisingly, very few have tested the basic methodological assumptions supporting the QALY equation so as to establish its scientific validity.
OBJECTIVES: The main objective of the ECHOUTCOME European project was to test the validity of the underlying assumptions of the QALY outcome and its relevance in health decision making.
METHODS: An experiment has been conducted with 1,361 subjects from Belgium, France, Italy, and the UK. The subjects were asked to express their preferences regarding various hypothetical health states derived from combining different health states with time durations in order to compare observed utility values of the couples (health state, time) and calculated utility values using the QALY formula.
RESULTS: Observed and calculated utility values of the couples (health state, time) were significantly different, confirming that preferences expressed by the respondents were not consistent with the QALY theoretical assumptions.
CONCLUSIONS: This European study contributes to establishing that the QALY multiplicative model is an invalid measure. This explains why costs/QALY estimates may vary greatly, leading to inconsistent recommendations relevant to providing access to innovative medicines and health technologies. HTA agencies should consider other more robust methodological approaches to guide reimbursement decisions.