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Keywords:

  • cost-effectiveness analysis;
  • opportunity costs;
  • decision-making plane

Abstract

Considerable methodological research has been conducted on handling uncertainty in cost-effectiveness analysis. The current literature suggests the concepts of net health benefits and cost-effectiveness accepta-bility curves to circumvent the technical shortcomings of cost-effectiveness ratio statistics. However, these approaches do not provide a solution for the inherent problem that the threshold cost-effectiveness ratio itself is unknown. The authors suggest analysing uncertainty in cost-effectiveness analysis by directly addressing the concept of opportunity costs using the decision rule described by Birch and Gafni (1992) and introduce a new graphical framework (the ‘decision making plane’) for communicating with policy makers. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.