Surrogate Marker

Definition

Health Economics

  • In cost-effectiveness analyses of health care interventions, combining an economic model (when one is used) with trial data poses a problem if the trial outcome measures are not suitable variables for use in the model, whose outcomes are usually cast in terms of patient well-being. The trial outcome is the surrogate marker that needs to be converted into a patient-relevant outcome. Thus, changes in bone mass density might be the surrogate marker as used in a trial and the (empirical) question then needs to be explored as to whether (and in what way) such changes are linked to outcomes in terms of, say, QALYs, via effects on the frequency of hip fractures.
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