The state of health economics and pharmacoeconomics evaluation research in Zimbabwe
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The study examined the state of health economics (including pharmacoeconomics) evaluation in Zimbabwe. A review of the literature was conducted to identify health economic evaluation articles that related to Zimbabwe. Fifty-nine articles were identified through database searches and 34 were excluded, leaving 25 articles for inclusion in the study. Two reviewers independently evaluated and scored each article using the data collection form designed for the study. A third researcher read and scored the article when there was disagreement among the reviewers. The data collection form had three main sections; general information (nine items), economic analysis information (18 items), and quality of the health economic information (16 items). The 25 articles were published in 13 different journals (based mostly outside of Zimbabwe). On average, each article was written by three authors, who had mostly medical/clinical training. The number of articles peaked between 1993 and 1997. Based on a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 indicating the highest quality, the mean quality score for all studies was 5.36 (SD = 1.57) and about one-third of the articles were of poor quality. The quality of articles was statistically significantly related (p < 0.10) to the country of the journal (non-Zimbabwe = higher), type of publication (non-medical = higher), number of authors (more authors = higher), year of publication (more recent = higher), and primary health intervention (services = higher than pharmaceutical and other interventions). The results of the study indicated that the use of health economics (including pharmacoeconomics) evaluation research in Zimbabwe is limited and about one-third of published articles were of poor quality. More and better quality health economics research in Zimbabwe are warranted.