The Social Value of Health Programs: Is Age a Relevant Factor?
University of Vigo - Faculty of Economics and Business
José Luis Pinto Prades
Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences
Universitat Pompeu Fabra Working Paper No. 473
In cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) it is usually assumed that a QALY is of equal value to everybody, irrespective of the patient's age. However, it is possible that society assigns different social values to a QALY according to who gets it. In this paper we discuss the possibility of weighting health benefits for age in CEA. We also examine the possibility that age-related preferences depend on the size of the health gain. An experiment was performed to test these hypotheses. The results assessing suggest that the patient's age is a relevant factor when assessing health gains.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: QALY, age weights, social welfare function
JEL Classification: I18, D61, D63
Date posted: September 7, 2000