Targeted Approaches to Enhance Indirect Comparisons
Evidence on the relative effectiveness of treatments is rarely available from head-to-head studies, and as a result published results from clinical trials must often be used for indirect comparisons via network meta-analysis (NMA). Although often very effective, NMA may be challenging if there is an incomplete or disjointed evidence network, or substantial heterogeneity between studies, or when key treatments to be compared are separated by multiple intermediate steps or linking comparisons within the network. STC and MAIC can often help to overcome these challenges, and may also provide additional depth and a different perspective when challenges do not exist. Submissions to health authorities have successfully employed these methods, and they may be required in the future.