The Social Value of Health Programs: Is Age a Relevant Factor?
José Luis Pinto
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.
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