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The Methods for Economic Evaluation Project (MEEP) was established by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013 to improve the quality and transparency of economic evaluation and to guide researchers in undertaking and reporting well-conducted and robust analyses.

MEEP was a novel collaboration led by NICE International and included partners from institutions around the world including the Health Intervention and Technology Appraisal Program (Thailand), the University of York, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the University of Glasgow. 

A key output of MEEP was the production of the Gates Reference Case - a set of principles, methodological specifications and reporting standards to support health economic evaluations funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Gates Reference Case at ISPOR Europe

November 2014

Colleagues from University of York, Universiti Sains Malaysia, and NICE International held a Gates-Reference Case workshop session at the ISPOR Europe conference in Amsterdam in November 2014. The workshop was well attended and furthered efforts to reach out and engage with a range of different stakeholders with an interest in the Reference Case.

Mark Sculpher (University of York) provided an overview to the session and chaired discussion, Tommy Wilkinson (NICE International) presented the background and structure the Reference Case, Paul Revill (University of York) outlined each of the Reference Case principles and why they are important, and Asrul Shafie (School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia) provided an overview of the current status of economic evaluation methodology in Malaysia and some useful observations on the applicability of the RC to the Malaysian setting.

The workshop enabled some interesting discussion ranging from particular methodological specifications such as the DALY outcome measure to the status of the Reference Case going forward and applicability to high income countries.

Discussing the Reference Case at the World Health Organisation and the Global Fund 

NICE International were joined by Prof Karl Claxton and Paul Revill from the University of York on a visit to the headquarters of the World Health Organisation in Geneva to discuss the Gates Reference Case and provide an update on the International Decision Support Initiative.

A roundtable discussion event was chaired by Kees de Joncheere, Director of the Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products. Also in attendance were individuals from various teams within the WHO, including Department of Health Systems Governance and Finance and the Policy Access and Use Unit. The roundtable enabled event enabled discussion about the Reference Case and its applicability to WHO programmes of work.

Following discussion with WHO staff, NICE International and colleagues from the University of York attended a meeting of the Health Economic Affinity Group, hosted by the Global Fund. The group aims to draw together individuals who work in institutions around Geneva who have in interest in health economics. More than 40 people from organisations such as WHO, Global Fund, UNITAIDs, the GAVI Alliance, and the Global Fund were in attendance. NICE International introduced the Reference Case and discussed the International Decision Support Initiative with the group. Professor Karl Claxton discussed the importance of a principle-based approach to the production of evidence to inform accountable and reasonable decisions.

These two events highlighted the continued relevance of the use of evidence in decision making and the wide applicability of the principles behind the Reference Case to a range institutions. These institutions make decisions which have a substantial impact on health care provision in many low and middle income counties around the world.

As focus on the processes and evidence supporting decision making becomes increasingly important, NICE International will continue to work with major partners to provide information and help.

The Gates Reference Case is launched at the Houses of Parliament

June 2014

NICE International launches the Gates Reference Case, a principle-based standardised methodology for good practice in the planning, conduct and reporting of economic evaluation for informing priority setting in health.

Senior academics, donors and policy makers attended the launch at the Houses of parliament, which was hosted by APPG Global Health, chaired by Lord Crisp and Meg Hillier MP. There followed a technical workshop to discuss why and how the Gates Reference Case was developed and what it means for researchers, donors, and policy makers working in low and middle income countries as well as next steps in the development and implementation of the reference case.     

The MEEP final report (PDF) contains the full Gates Reference Case and background to the project.

View a guide to the Gates reference case  - 'The Gates Reference Case - What it is, why it's important, and how to use it' (PDF)