Making the best use of limited resource: An introduction to health economics in guidelines


Workshop session 1: Wednesday, 11:00-12:30

Workshop category: 

  • Global health, equity, social and economic policy and practice


Date and Location


Wednesday 13 September 2017 - 11:00 to 12:30


Contact persons and facilitators

Contact person:


Ross Maconachie


Target audience

Target audience: 

Non-economists involved in the production of guidelines or healthcare decision-making.

Level of difficulty: 

Type of workshop

Type of workshop : 



Objectives: To develop an understanding of the principles and methods of economic evaluation for decision making in the development of NICE guidelines.

Description: By the end of the session, participants should understand the following key concepts:
Scarcity, opportunity cost and the role of economic evaluation in efficient resource allocation;
The importance of perspective to the estimation of costs and benefits;
The meaning and role of the Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) as a measure of health outcome;
The importance of incremental analysis (ICERs and net-benefits);
The meaning and role of NICE’s cost per QALY decision threshold.

Participants should also gain a preliminary understanding of some simple methods of analysis. By the end of the session, they should be able to:
Estimate costs from simple resource use and unit cost data;
Estimate QALYs from simple quality-of-life and survival data;
Calculate an Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratio (ICER) from cost and outcome data.

Teaching mode: Key concepts will be introduced in a series of short talks (10-15 mins). Between presentations, participants will split up into small groups to do exercises, which will illustrate the key concepts and methods of analysis.