Evidence is needed to inform and guide the choices that healthcare
organisations make in relation to how budgets are spent. The associated
costs and benefits of health treatments are key components of such
decisions. An economic evaluation is a way of systematically identifying the
costs and benefits of different health activities and comparing these to
make an informed decision about the best course of action based on the
evidence available. Economic evaluations can also be used to identify
uncertainty around the likely costs of a particular health activity and to
compare this against a ‘willingness to pay’ threshold, in order to judge
their value for money. This chapter examines the key parts of economic
evaluations and the data that feed into them, and considers how the results
of economic evaluations can be interpreted.
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