, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 1–4 | Cite as

The New Myth

The Social Value of the QALY
  • Werner BrouwerEmail author
  • Job van Exel
  • Rachel Baker
  • Cam Donaldson

Throughout history there have always been people who are susceptible to myths and have tried to find the unfindable, whether it be the Holy Grail providing eternal life for its finder, the alchemic formula turning lead into gold, Bigfoot or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. These myths come in different forms; some are clearly placed in a religious or metaphysical context (e.g. the Holy Grail), while others are marketed with an earthly and scientific aura (e.g. the hairs of Bigfoot).

At present, a new myth is seeking its way into the world. It has sought a particularly receptive bunch of people to nestle in, called health economists. We will call them ‘Believers’. The Believers form a relatively friendly tribe, although some theoretical quarrels between tribe members have been reported. Their sole goal in life is to help societies in their struggle with the optimal allocation of resources in the healthcare sector.1To that end, the Believers have designed a friendly...


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Werner Brouwer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Job van Exel
    • 1
  • Rachel Baker
    • 2
  • Cam Donaldson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health Policy & Management and Institute for Medical Technology AssessmentErasmus University Rotterdam/Erasmus MCRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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