While incremental cost effectiveness ratio is often presented as an absolute means upon which to base the decision of whether changing treatments is "worth it," these calculations are not absolute truths.
Health economics helps insurers, healthcare systems and providers make treatment decisions based on the cost of extra "units" of health arising from a specific treatment. By calculating the cost for each year of life or quality-adjusted year of life gained, these groups can decide whether changing treatments or adding in a new treatment beyond the existing standard of care is "worth it."
However, while the resulting incremental cost effectiveness ratio is often presented as an absolute measure upon which to base these decisions, an opinion published by University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, and Adam Atherly, PhD, suggests that the consumers of these data need to be much more aware of the assumptions underlying these calculations.
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