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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Health care systems exhibit their features and nuances that impose constraints on the appropriate way to analyze interventions and make decisions about their implementation. This article seeks to explain the theoretical foundations of these methods and their implementation in practice. It focuses on a budget constrained health care sector, where implementing a new technology with additional costs will result in other health care services being displaced hence forgoing health improvement elsewhere. It is intended to provide grounding in the policy motivation for economic evaluation and the underlying normative issues in undertaking studies. The article further develops the key elements of undertaking economic evaluation in practice. It outlines a simple scenario regarding the comparison of chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. This example helps to illustrate some of the conceptual issues raised in this article. The approaches that have been taken to quantify outcomes and costs from health care interventions are also discussed.

Keywords: health care systems, costs, economic evaluation, decisions, normative issues

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