Can Soccer Predictions Boost the Use of Indirect Comparison to Assess the Safety Of Drugs?
M Soledad Cepeda*, 1, Daniel Fife1, Victor Lobanov1, Alex Sutton2
1 Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, 1125 Trenton Harbourton Rd, Titusville, NJ 08560, USA
2 Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, 2nd Floor (Room 214e), Adrian Building, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Randomized comparisons to establish the relative safety of competing interventions are scarce. An approach to estimate relative treatment effects in the absence of head-to-head trials is to utilize indirect comparisons and extended meta-analytic techniques, but these techniques are underused.
We provide a non-technical account using analogies to predicting results in sports matches, which we hope makes these methods more accessible. The ideas in this example may be familiar to readers who may have considered an indirect comparison when trying to predict the outcome of a sports match. We used the first round of the soccer world cups of 2006 and 2010. In addition, we provide a simplified clinical example.
We found that even in circumstances in which the signal, i.e. strength of the team or the relatively safety of the medication, can easily be diluted or even lost, there is a fair agreement between the predictions of the indirect comparisons and the actual results.
We hope that this example will increase the acceptability of indirect comparisons and extended methods and widen the basis of health care decisions to a broader range of evidence instead of just the evidence from direct placebo-based comparisons.
Keywords: Indirect comparison, agreement between direct and indirect estimates, meta-analytic techniques.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, 1125 Trenton Harbourton Rd, Titusville, NJ 08560, USA; Tel: 609 730 2413; Ext: 30001; Fax: 609 730 7927; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org