PharmacoEconomics publishes series of articles on the EQ-5D-5L

The journal PharmacoEconomics has recently published online a series of four articles and two commentaries on the five level version of the EQ-5D (EQ-5D-5L). One article reports the first head-to-head comparison of the descriptive systems and value sets for the three level version of the EQ-5D (EQ-5D-3L) and the EQ-5D-5L for seven countries (Janssen et al, 2018). It concludes that the EQ-5D-5L provides more precise measurement at both an individual and group level for descriptive system data and utilities. Another article, by Mulhern et al. (2018), compares three different EQ-5D value sets (3L, ‘crosswalk’, and 5L) available in the UK and/or England. The authors conclude that the value sets will lead to differences, and the use of the EQ-5D-5L value set will have implications for the decision-making process carried out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England. The third article, by Ludwig et al. (2018), reports the development of the value set for the EQ-5D-5L based on the societal preferences of the German population. . The fourth article, by Buchholz et al. (2018) provides a systematic review of all 24 published studies that compared EQ-5D-3L with EQ-5D-5L. The main conclusion of the authors is that the EQ-5D-5L showed similar or better performance compared to the EQ-5D-3L.

Two commentaries accompany these articles. A commentary by Round (2018) suggests that NICE should undertake an assessment of a number of different preference-based measures of quality of life that are available before adopting the EQ-5D-5L. A commentary by Devlin et al. (2018) entitled ‘3L, 5L, What the L? A NICE Conundrum’ place these articles in the context of the independent validation of the EQ-5D-5L value set that is currently ongoing on behalf of the Department of Health in England. The commentary notes that the EQ-5D-5L has a number of advantages over the EQ-5D-3L as a measure of self-reported health, it also highlights that differences between the EQ-5D-3L and the EQ-5D-5L value sets are to be expected, and that a transitional challenge to NICE is unavoidable.


  1. Janssen, M.F., Bonsel, G.J. & Luo, N. PharmacoEconomics (2018)
  2. Mulhern, B., Feng, Y., Shah, K. et al. PharmacoEconomics (2018)
  3. Ludwig, K., Graf von der Schulenburg, JM. & Greiner, W. PharmacoEconomics (2018)
  4. Buchholz, I., Jansen M.F., Kohlmann T., Feng YS. PharmacoEconomics (2018)
  5. Round, J. PharmacoEconomics (2018) 
  6. Devlin, N., Brazier, J., Pickard, A.S. et al. PharmacoEconomics (2018) 
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