Point-Counter-PointCan Economic Model Transparency Improve Provider Interpretation of Cost-Effectiveness Analysis? A ResponseCohen, Joshua T. PhD*; Wong, John B. MD†Author Information *Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Tufts Medical Center †Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Decision Making, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA Supported in part by grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and by the National Institutes of Health. J.T.C. receives grant support from the National Pharmaceuticals Council, the Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of America, Amgen, Biogen, GE Healthcare, Genentech, Gilead, Janssen, Merck, Novartis, Otsuka, Pfizer, Purdue Pharma, Sanofi, and Vertex. J.T.C. reports that he has received or is currently receiving consulting income from: Axovant, Merck, Partnership for Health Analytic Research, Precision Health Economics, Veritech Corporation. J.T.C. reports that the Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry at the Center for the Evaluation for Value and Risk in Health at Tufts Medical Center has been funded by NSF, NLM, AHRQ, CDC, and a variety of pharmaceutical and device companies who subscribe to the registry’s data. J.B.W. reports that he has received grant funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for “Methods Research and Support in Decision and Simulation Modeling.” J.B.W. reports that he is an Associate Statistics Editor at the Annals of Internal Medicine and was the co-lead for the Transparency and Validation Working Group of the ISPOR-SMDM Joint Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force in 2010–2012. J.B.W. reports that he receives royalties from UpToDate for “a short primer on cost-effectiveness analysis,” and from Cambridge Press for Decision Making in Health and Medicine, 2nd Ed. This manuscript was funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “increasing use of health economic information for global health,” investment ID: OPP1171680, and by the National Institutes of Health, “personalized risk information in cost-effectiveness studies (PRICES),” NIH grant award number: U01NS086294. The authors declare no conflict of interest. Reprints: Joshua T. Cohen, PhD, Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington Street #63, Boston, MA 02111. E-mail: [email protected]. Medical Care: November 2017 - Volume 55 - Issue 11 - p 912-914 doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000811 Buy Metrics Abstract To enhance the credibility and the value of health economic analyses, we argue that the computer model source code underlying these analyses should be made publicly available. Only with open publication is it possible for others to assess whether alternative assumptions, beyond those examined by the model authors, alter the model’s findings. Because reproducibility is critical for scientific acceptance and because computation increasingly permeates scientific inquiry, other fields have moved toward open publication of computer models, and health economics should avoid falling behind. Making source code available shines a light on these otherwise black boxes and facilitates their complete evaluation and understandability. The preceding commentary makes 2 arguments against open publication. It claims first that open publication would undermine intellectual property rights and discourage work in this field. We respond that the impact on intellectual property would be minimal, and that open publication could even increase model value. The second argument against open publication is the possibility of model misuse. If anything, however, open publication would reduce this risk by making the model implementation completely transparent. We argue finally that open publication of models would have ancillary benefits by making the research more amenable for adaptation and innovation. Moving toward open publication will present challenges, but we believe that the benefits of increased scientific credibility and utility, particularly for health policy and clinical practice decisions, will certainly outweigh the harms. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.