Previous application of value-of-information methods to optimal clinical trial design have predominantly taken a societal decision-making perspective, implicitly assuming that healthcare costs are covered through public expenditure and trial research is funded by government or donation-based philanthropic agencies. In this paper, we consider the interaction between interrelated perspectives of a societal decision maker (e.g. the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence [NICE] in the UK) charged with the responsibility for approving new health interventions for reimbursement and the company that holds the patent for a new intervention. We establish optimal decision making from societal and company perspectives, allowing for trade-offs between the value and cost of research and the price of the new intervention.
Given the current level of evidence, there exists a maximum (threshold) price acceptable to the decision maker. Submission for approval with prices above this threshold will be refused. Given the current level of evidence and the decision maker's threshold price, there exists a minimum (threshold) price acceptable to the company. If the decision maker's threshold price exceeds the company's, then current evidence is sufficient since any price between the thresholds is acceptable to both. On the other hand, if the decision maker's threshold price is lower than the company's, then no price is acceptable to both and the company's optimal strategy is to commission additional research. The methods are illustrated using a recent example from the literature.