• Article

Prevalence-Based Economic Evaluation

Objective. Researchers have often stated that economic evaluations of new drugs have rarely been used to inform healthcare decisions, despite the large volume of published studies. In this paper, a new categorization for economic evaluations of new drugs is proposed: incidence-based and prevalence-based. This categorization is designed to increase the likelihood that decisionmakers are given more complete and useable economic information about new treatments.Results. Incidence-based evaluations (such as cost-effectiveness analysis) focus on the impact of a new treatment on a health condition from onset until cure or death. Prevalence-based evaluations focus on the impact of a new treatment on a health condition during a 1-year period. An incidence-based evaluation may focus either on a representative individual or on a specific disease cohort. A prevalence-based evaluation generally focuses on a specific population. Incidence-based evaluations measure the value of the new treatment compared to alternative treatments for the same health conditions and compared to commonly used treatments for other health conditions. Prevalence-based evaluations measure the impact of introducing the new treatment on annual healthcare budgets and population health.Conclusion. Both types of evaluation provide important information when a new treatment is introduced to a population.


Mauskopf, J. (1998). Prevalence-Based Economic Evaluation. Value in Health, 1(4), 251-259.