A Literature Review of Cost-Benefit Analyses for the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence

Social and Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 33 Russell St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S1, Canada
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.06). 08/2011; 8(8):3351-64. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph8083351
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to conduct a literature review of cost-benefit studies on pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy treatments of alcohol dependence (AD). A literature search was performed in multiple electronic bibliographic databases. The search identified seven psychotherapy studies from the USA and two pharmacotherapy studies from Europe. In the psychotherapy studies, major benefits are typically seen within the first six months of treatment. The benefit-cost ratio ranged from 1.89 to 39.0. Treatment with acamprosate was found to accrue a net benefit of 21,301 BEF (528 €) per patient over a 24-month period in Belgium and lifetime benefit for each patient in Spain was estimated to be Pta. 3,914,680 (23,528 €). To date, only a few studies exist that have examined the cost-benefit of psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy treatment of AD. Most of the available treatment options for AD appear to produce marked economic benefits.

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