How we do our work

 ICER’s proposed updates to the Value Assessment Framework are currently open to public comment. Comments must be received by April 3, 2017 at 5PM ET. All comments should be emailed to Learn more about our update process here.

Dr. Steve Pearson, ICER’s President, presented the proposed changes during a webinar on February 13th.  Watch the recording here

ICER is driven by a mission to conduct evidence-based reviews of health care interventions, such as drug, devices and diagnostics, that help patients, doctors, and everyone else in the health care system know what works.  For every report, ICER follows a process that includes numerous opportunities for stakeholders to engage and be involved throughout its development.

Topic Selection

The report process begins with topic selection. ICER solicits topic suggestions from members of each program’s advisory board (CTAF, Midwest CEPAC, and New England CEPAC). ICER also accepts topic ideas from the public on an ongoing basis. To make a topic suggestion, fill out our topic suggestion form with your name, contact information, and brief description of the topic you would like to suggest.

When choosing a topic, ICER considers a list of key criteria to ensure that the topics being reviewed will have meaningful impact.

Report Development

After choosing a topic, report development begins. Reports are developed in several phases with numerous opportunities for public input. For a more detailed explanation, and to learn more about how you can contribute, see our methods for stakeholder engagement.

  • After finalizing the scope of a report, ICER develops a research protocol and model specifications that are shared publicly on the Open Science Framework website. Protocols and model specs for past projects can be found here. Public posting of protocols is part of ICER’s larger commitment to economic model transparency.
  • During the development of its reports, ICER speaks with clinical experts, patients and patient groups, manufacturers, payers, and other stakeholders. In line with our commitment to transparency, every organization or individual that provides input or feedback on an ICER report is listed in the report itself, with appropriate disclaimers that the reports’ contents and conclusions are solely those of the ICER team and affiliated researchers.
  • While ICER frequently limits reviews to include only publicly available, peer-reviewed literature, there are cases where it is appropriate to consider other sources. More information about ICER’s use of “grey literature” is available here.
  • When assessing the quality of evidence available on the topic, ICER relies on the Evidence Rating Matrix. Fundamentally, the evidence rating reflects a judgment of two critical components:
    • The magnitude of the difference in ‘net health benefit’ (or, the balance between the clinical benefits the drug offers in relation to the risks or side effects someone might experience from the drug), and
    • The level of certainty that you have in your estimate of net health benefit, based on the evidence available.
  • In assessing value, ICER relies on the ICER Value Assessment Framework. The framework, developed with input from patient advocates, clinical societies, life science companies, pharmaceutical benefit managers, and insurers, identifies the key domains that factor into considerations of value. A document outlining proposed updates to the framework is currently open to public comment until April 3, 2017. Learn more about the value assessment framework and its components here.

Index of Resources on this Page