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Health Economics

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Hi! My name is Doctor Sanjay Sharma, I am a professor of ophthalmology and epidemiology at Queen’s University. As a researcher I am very interested in a particular area of Epidemiology called Health Economics. Prolific goal of health economics is to work out the cost-benefit, numbers for a new intervention in a way that can help doctors and policymakers.

Make the often difficult decision on which interventions to pay for and which may be too expensive for the public health care system to find, I want to give you a high-level overview and how we do this. The key thing is being able to put a value on a new drug or procedure. In health care we measure value as a unit called qualities or quality-adjusted life years, One quality is equal to live in for one year in perfect health.

So how do we work this out, Or what we do is we look at the average person with a specific disease. And then we will look at all the outcomes of that disease both with and without the intervention that we are evaluating, freeze possible outcome we assign a probability any utility score. Utility scores a measure of how much your quality of life would decrease with a certain outcome, for example someone with wet macular degeneration let say that if they went blind the quality of life would decrease by 55%.

This would mean a utility score of .45 using a mathematical model called a Markov model we combined utility scores and probabilities, and other factors to determine the average benefit to someone with the disease. Who takes a drug which we are evaluating we calculate that benefit over the course of the treatment, and end up with the increasing quality is caused by the truck.

The next thing we do is look at the cost to society as a result of the outcome, most obviously we have to look at the cost of paying for the drug treatments. But then we also have to take into account, the total costs have each possible outcome associated with both receiving the treatment and not receiving the treatment. For example Unite Care, we also have to consider the cost to the health care system.

If a patient went blind including personal assistance, patient education and continuing medical care, in this case the blindness could have been caused by an adverse effect from the drug or through not taking the drug at all. Once we determine the cost we can then calculate the cost per quality, or how much does it cost us to gain equivalent have a year in perfect health for a patient.

This cost per call it becomes a standardized metric to evaluate new interventions,
The typical scenario is that a new invention provides an improvement. In either the length or quality of life that costs money and health economists, and doctors are you would have as to whether the government should pay for the intervention. Most governments find things that cost less than fifty thousand dollars per quality, and do not pay for others that are more costly.

It is a complex analysis we have only Preston surface, but I hope that we have been able to give you a small glimpse into how health economists work. And how their analyses help us to run our healthcare system with a reasoned approach.

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