Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Politics and its intersection with coverage with evidence development: a qualitative analysis from expert interviews

Danielle Bishop1 and Joel Lexchin234*

Author Affiliations

1 Graduate Program in Health, York University, Toronto, Canada

2 School of Health Policy and Management, York University, Toronto, Canada

3 Emergency Department, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada

4 Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

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BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13:88  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-88

Published: 9 March 2013



Pressures on health care budgets have led policy makers to discuss how to balance the provision of costly technologies to populations in need and making coverage decisions under uncertainty. Coverage with evidence development (CED) is being employed to meet these challenges.


Twenty-four interviews were carried out between June 2009 and December 2010 with researchers, decision makers and policy makers from Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and United States. Three phases of coding occurred, the first being manual coding where the interviews were read and notes were taken and nodes were extracted and imputed. NVIVO coding was applied to the interview transcripts, with both broad general searches for word usages and imputed nodes.


Four overarching thematic areas emerged out of contextual analysis of the interviews – (1) what constitutes CED; (2) the lack of a systematic approach/governance structure; (3) the role of the pharmaceutical industry and overt political considerations in CED; and (4) alternatives and barriers to CED. We explore these themes and then use concrete examples of CED projects in each of the four countries to illustrate the political issues that our interviewees raised.


Until the underlying political nature of CED is recognized then fundamental questions about its usefulness and operation will remain unresolved.

Australia; Canada; Coverage with evidence development; Governance; Key informants; Pharmaceuticals; Politics; United Kingdom; United States