Evidence from cost-effectiveness research
- Cite this article as:
- Noyes, K. & Holloway, R.G. Neurotherapeutics (2004) 1: 348. doi:10.1602/neurorx.1.3.348
Economic evaluations are a set of outcomes and health services research methods to inform the debate about the rising cost of health care and include cost-of-illness studies and cost-effectiveness research. Cost-effectiveness research is the comparative analysis of two or more alternative interventions in terms of their health and economic consequences, whose results are expressed as an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, the ratio of differences in cost between a pair of medical interventions to the differences in the corresponding health effects. These research methods are particularly important to neurological diseases with debilitating natural histories, long-term courses, and a growing number of exciting, yet costly, treatment options available. The results of economic evaluations of neurological conditions influence resource allocation decisions, help set reimbursement rates, estimate future healthcare expenses, and improve the quality and efficiency of delivering neurological care. For these research methods to achieve their potential, continued methodological advances within the field are needed, as well as a more systematic integration of these methods into mainstream research to address critical questions regarding the health and well-being of patients with neurological illness.