16 March 2017: Pieter van Baal

Distributional consequences of including survivor costs in economic evaluations

Speaker(s): Pieter van Baal (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Date: Thursday, 16 March, 2017

Time: 12:00-13:00

Venue: J7-55

Contact person(s): Teresa Bago d'Uva  


Medical interventions that increase life expectancy of patients result in additional consumption of non-medical goods and services in ‘added life years’. There has been some debate whether these survivor costs should be included in cost effectiveness analysis conducted from a societal perspective. This paper adds to the existing literature on future non-medical consumption by focusing on the socio- economic distributional consequences of including these costs in economic evaluations, and explores the role of household size in this matter. Data from Dutch household spending surveys were used to estimate non-medical consumption per capita by age and educational attainment. Estimates of non-medical consumption by age and education were combined with life tables to estimate what the impact of including non-medical survivor costs would be on the incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) if a death is prevented at a certain age. Results reveal that survivor costs differs strongly by age, education and household size. Excluding survivor costs implicitly favours interventions targeted at the higher educated and potentially amplifies socio-economic inequalities in health.