Economic Evaluation of Drug Abuse Treatment and HIV Prevention Programs in Pregnant Women: A Systematic Review
Addictive Behaviors, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2011
10 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2010 Last revised: 28 Mar 2012
Date Written: October 1, 2011
Drug abuse and transmission of HIV during pregnancy are public health problems that adversely affect pregnant women, their children and surrounding communities. Programs that address this vulnerable population have the ability to be cost-effective due to resulting cost savings for mother, child and society. Economic evaluations of programs that address these issues are an important tool to better understand the costs of services and create sustainable healthcare systems. This study critically examined economic evaluations of drug abuse treatment and HIV prevention programs in pregnant women. A systematic review was conducted using the criteria recommended by the Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) checklist for economic evaluations. The search identified 6 economic studies assessing drug abuse treatment for pregnant women, and 12 economic studies assessing programs that focus on prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. Results show that many programs for drug abuse treatment and PMTCT among pregnant women are cost-effective or even cost-saving. This study identified several shortcomings in methodology and lack of standardization of current economic evaluations. Efforts to address methodological challenges will help make future studies more comparable and have more influence on policy makers, clinicians and the public.
Keywords: economic evaluation, HIV prevention, drug abuse treatment, systematic review
JEL Classification: I18, I1, I01
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation