Sometimes the information required to optimize decision-making does not exist—yet
Medicus Economics does not shy away from an opportunity to think creatively. Our development of a new strategy to estimate disease prevalence in countries with no prevalence data exemplifies our approach to challenging problems.
We were asked to estimate the prevalence of different risk populations in an open-ended number of countries to assess the size of the therapeutic market. We knew detailed prevalence estimates for five European countries, but the epidemiologic data did not exist in the others. Thus, the question we needed to answer was:
“What is the prevalence of a condition in a country that has no prevalence data?”
Our solution depended on two key insights:
- Though prevalence for specific conditions was not widely available, publicly available data on condition-specific mortality and relevant risk factors were available for a broad set of countries
- Synthetic control, a methodology developed by economists and statisticians, could be repurposed to generate a prevalence estimate for a target country by weighting the prevalence estimates from the known countries.
Once we combined these insights, we were able to create a tool that provided robust prevalence estimates in target countries based upon their similarity to the countries with known prevalence.
So the answer to the question “What is the prevalence of a condition in a country that has no prevalence data?” is:
We’ll let you know.