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16.05.2019 | Original Paper Open Access

Is the trend of increasing use of patient-reported outcome measures in medical device studies the sign of shift towards value-based purchasing in Europe?

The European Journal of Health Economics
Miklós Weszl, Fanni Rencz, Valentin Brodszky
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The recent update of the European Union’s (EU) regulation on public procurement has created new opportunity for progress in the purchasing of medical devices by shifting towards focus on value from one purely on price. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) may serve as additional tools for manufacturers to demonstrate value beyond traditional metrics of safety and performance and to differentiate their products in a market of increasing competition. The aim of our study was to investigate the extent to which PROMs are included in registered device studies in the EU and interpret the results in the context of the purchasing of medical devices.


Twelve device groups were searched in clinical trial registries to determine the frequency distribution of PROMs in related studies.


Results indicate that clinical studies of the selected device categories are done predominately in the western EU nations and are increasingly including PROMs. In the United Kingdom 121 (65%) study, out of 186 included PROMs, and in Germany, 92 (52%) out of 178 between 1998 and 2018. Few device studies were done in the Central and Eastern European region, and out of 76 studies 27 (35%) included PROMs. Since there is no requirement to include PROMs in device studies for regulatory purposes, it seems probable that their increasing use is driven by competitive market pressures.


The trend of increasing use of PROMs might be driven by the demand of purchasers to demonstrate value of devices, but is manifested at different levels in various regions of the EU.

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