Designing economic evaluations to better inform investment in prevention programs
This project set out to develop guidelines for economic evaluations that would enable policy makers to make better decision about the benefits of prevention programs. For a summary of the key findings and relevance for policy, download the Findings Brief PDF.
- Economic analysis of prevention programs has traditionally focused on measuring the bottom line (costs and improvements in survival and quality of life), but it doesn’t often capture all the other benefits of prevention programs.
- This project set out to develop guidelines for economic evaluations that would enable policy makers to make better decisions about the benefits of prevention programs.
- The researchers reviewed the evidence and interviewed senior health and treasury decision makers about their needs in relation to economic analysis of prevention.
- They found varying needs: some policy makers agreed on the need to understand the broader social impacts of investment in prevention, while treasury representatives had a strong interest in both cost savings to government and health and social outcomes.
- The project also found that government representatives would benefit from a greater understanding of each other’s needs when assessing the cost-effectiveness of prevention interventions.
- When arguing for investment in prevention initiatives, health departments need to present a business case. More work is needed to build capacity in state health departments to develop such cases.