Background: In 2008, the German Guideline program in Oncology (GGPO) was launched under the auspices of the German Cancer Society, the German Cancer Aid and the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies. Since 2008 Guideline development was supported by a total of 8,5 Billion Euro. In order to plan further financing for keeping 30 GGPO guideline topics updated, the expenditures of the first eight years were analysed.
Objectives:The aim of this analysis is to investigate guidelines development performance parameters of guideline development in order to calculate average costs for such parameters (eg. evidence search and assessment for a key question and , average travel and consensus meetings costs per GDG member). This will be the base for framing costs for guidelines to be updated in the future.
Methods: 25 guideline projects were analysed. Costs were documented for labour expenses, orders to external HTA agencies if needed, travel costs, and consensus meetings. Range and mean were calculated. Number of key questions and evidence based recommendations were extracted. Costs for engaging an external HTA agency are compared to other models.
Results: :Generally, the costs for the evidence work differ strongly: The mean of cost for one key question was 6.625 € ranging from 1.157 € to 16.987 €. Costs of HTA agencies were generally above this mean.
Conclusions: Based on the calculation of the data of the GGPO during the last eight years an estimation of costs for a guideline update is possible. However, variations have to be taken into account. Given a fixed annual budget the to keep the oncological guidelines updated the number of key questions has to be limited. Alternatively, certain guideline topics are excluded from updating. Comparing the data to experiences of guidelines in other countries would be helpful to discuss the topic guideline development costs within the GIN community.