Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) is a form of economic analysis that compares the relative expenditure (costs) and outcomes (effects) of two or more courses of action.
CEA in pharmacoeconomics
In the context of pharmacoeconomics, the cost-effectiveness of a therapeutic or preventive intervention is the ratio of the cost of the intervention to a relevant measure of its effect. Cost refers to the resource expended for the intervention, usually measured in monetary terms such as dollars or pounds. The measure of effects depends on the intervention being considered. Examples include the number of people cured of a disease, the mm Hg reduction in diastolic blood pressure and the number of symptom-free days experienced by a patient. The selection of the appropriate effect measure should be based on clinical judgment in the context of the intervention being considered.
A special case of CEA is cost-utility analysis, where the effects are measured in terms of years of full health lived, using a measure such as quality-adjusted life years or disability-adjusted life years.
Cost-effectiveness is typically expressed as an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), the ratio of change in costs to the change in effects.
A complete compilation of cost-utility analyses in the peer reviewed medical literature is available at the CEA Registry Website
CEA in environmental economics
In environmental terms, "cost-effective measures" allude to various (mostly industrial) attempts to prevent environmental degradation as written in principle 15 of the Rio declaration of the Earth Summit conference 1992.
- Why some drugs are not worth it BBC report
- World Health Organization - CHOICE CHoosing Interventions that are Cost Effective
- ISPOR-CO, The Colombian Chapter of The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research