About this programme

Effectiveness and costs

Since 1999, the programme Efficiency studies provides grants for comparative effectiveness research. Research, in which effectiveness and costs of different treatments are compared to provide the evidence for decision making in health care practice and policy. This is the basis for good quality and affordable care.  

You can take a look at the video 'What is efficiency research?’

Type of research

It concerns the comparison of one (or more) treatment(s) relative to the usual care in the Netherlands for which the effectiveness is known, or relative to a wait and see approach. It also concerns the comparison of two forms of usual care for which the effectiveness has not yet been assessed sufficiently. By treatments we mean all diagnostic, therapeutic and care activities in healthcare. This concerns diagnostics, surgical interventions, paramedical care and the application of medical aids.

Better and affordable care

In 2020, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport commissioned extending the programme Efficiency studies for the period 2022 upto 2026, with a budget of € 48,7 million. The programme is one of the instruments used by the Ministry for better and affordable care. In the healthcare agreements, various healthcare parties agreed to limit the growth of healthcare expenditure in the coming period. The knowledge from efficiency research is of great importance here.

Objective of the programme Efficiency studies 2022 - 2026

The core objective of the programme is to develop socially relevant and high-quality knowledge about the efficiency of innovative and existing non-pharmaceutical interventions.
In order to achieve the core objective, the implementation of the programme focuses on three programme goals:

  • Development of socially relevant knowledge
  • Development of high-quality knowledge and rapid execution of studies
  • Making developed knowledge accessible and usable


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