Assessing cost-effectiveness in healthcare: history of the $50,000 per QALY threshold.
ABSTRACT Cost-effectiveness analyses, particularly in the USA, commonly use a figure of $50,000 per life-year or quality-adjusted life-year gained as a threshold for assessing the cost-effectiveness of an intervention. The history of this practice is ill defined, although it has been linked to the end-stage renal disease kidney dialysis cost-effectiveness literature from the 1980s. The use of $50,000 as a benchmark for assessing the cost-effectiveness of an intervention first emerged in 1992 and became widely used after 1996. The appeal of the $50,000 figure appears to lie in the convenience of a round number rather than in the value of renal dialysis. Rather than arbitrary thresholds, estimates of willingness to pay and the opportunity cost of healthcare resources are needed.
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ABSTRACT: We explored potential cost-effectiveness of a chlamydia vaccine for young women in the United States by using a compartmental heterosexual transmission model. We tracked health outcomes (acute infections and sequelae measured in quality-adjusted life-years [QALYs]) and determined incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) over a 50-year analytic horizon. We assessed vaccination of 14-year-old girls and catch-up vaccination for 15-24-year-old women in the context of an existing chlamydia screening program and assumed 2 prevaccination prevalences of 3.2% by main analysis and 3.7% by additional analysis. Estimated ICERs of vaccinating 14-year-old girls were $35,300/QALY by main analysis and $16,200/QALY by additional analysis compared with only screening. Catch-up vaccination for 15-24-year-old women resulted in estimated ICERs of $53,200/QALY by main analysis and $26,300/QALY by additional analysis. The ICER was most sensitive to prevaccination prevalence for women, followed by cost of vaccination, duration of vaccine-conferred immunity, and vaccine efficacy. Our results suggest that a successful chlamydia vaccine could be cost-effective.Emerging infectious diseases 06/2015; 21(6). DOI:10.3201/eid2106.141270 · 7.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To assess the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and willingness to pay (WTP) per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) amount of patients with epilepsy in China.05/2015; 6:89-97. DOI:10.1016/j.vhri.2015.03.019
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ABSTRACT: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) showed that the addition of coronary artery calcium (CAC) to traditional risk factors improves risk classification, particularly in intermediate risk asymptomatic patients with LDL cholesterol levels <160 mg/dL. However, the cost-effectiveness of incorporating CAC into treatment decision rules has yet to be clearly delineated. To model the cost-effectiveness of CAC for cardiovascular risk stratification in asymptomatic, intermediate risk patients not taking a statin. Treatment based on CAC was compared to (1) treatment of all intermediate-risk patients, and (2) treatment on the basis of United States guidelines. We developed a Markov model of first coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. We modeled statin treatment in intermediate risk patients with CAC≥1 and CAC≥100, with different intensities of statins based on the CAC score. We compared these CAC-based treatment strategies to a "treat all" strategy and to treatment according to the Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) guidelines. Clinical and economic outcomes were modeled over both five- and ten-year time horizons. Outcomes consisted of CHD and CVD events and Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs). Sensitivity analyses considered the effect of higher event rates, different CAC and statin costs, indirect costs, and re-scanning patients with incidentalomas. We project that it is both cost-saving and more effective to scan intermediate-risk patients for CAC and to treat those with CAC≥1, compared to treatment based on established risk-assessment guidelines. Treating patients with CAC≥100 is also preferred to existing guidelines when we account for statin side effects and the disutility of statin use. Compared to the alternatives we assessed, CAC testing is both effective and cost saving as a risk-stratification tool, particularly if there are adverse effects of long-term statin use. CAC may enable providers to better tailor preventive therapy to patients' risks of CVD.PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0116377. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116377 · 3.53 Impact Factor