Incorporating societal concerns for fairness in numerical valuations of health programmes.


Journal Article

The paper addresses some limitations of the QALY approach and outlines a valuation procedure that may overcome these limitations. In particular, we focus on the following issues: the distinction between assessing individual utility and assessing societal value of health care; the need to incorporate concerns for severity of illness as an independent factor in a numerical model of societal valuations of health outcomes; similarly, the need to incorporate reluctance to discriminate against patients that happen to have lesser potentials for health than others; and finally, the need to combine measurements of health-related quality of life obtained from actual patients (or former patients) with measurements of distributive preferences in the general population when estimating societal value. We show how equity weights may serve to incorporate concerns for severity and potentials for health in QALY calculations. We also suggest that for chronically ill or disabled people a life year gained should count as one and no less than one as long as the year is considered preferable to being dead by the person concerned. We call our approach 'cost-value analysis'.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Nord, E; Pinto, JL; Richardson, J; Menzel, P; Ubel, P

Published Date

  • February 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 25 - 39

PubMed ID

  • 10082141

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10082141

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1099-1050

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1057-9230

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/(sici)1099-1050(199902)8:1<25::aid-hec398>;2-h


  • eng