Estimation of the cost-effective threshold of a quality-adjusted life year in China based on the value of statistical life

Dan Cai, Si Shi, Shan Jiang, Lei Si, Jing Wu, Yawen Jiang

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39 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Cost-effective threshold (CET) is essential for health technology assessment and decision-making based on health economic evaluations. Recently, it has been argued that the commonly used once and three times of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita CETs of a quality-adjusted life year (QALY) are not necessarily empirically supported in all countries. Therefore, we aimed to estimate the CET of a QALY as times of GDP per capita in China, of which the reimbursement coverage decisions are increasingly engaging economic evaluations. Estimates on the value of statistical life (VSL) in China were identified from several studies in the literature and converted to times of GDP per capita, the weighted average of which was used for subsequent calculation. By pooling data on population mortality, health utility, and age distribution, we estimated the value of a statistical QALY (VSQ) from VSL using an established mathematical process, which represented the theoretical upper bound of CET. The corresponding point estimate and theoretical lower bound were obtained using their numerical relationships with the upper bound. Scenarios analyses were also conducted. The estimated CET, its upper bound, and its lower bound were 1.45, 2.90, and 1.16 times of GDP per capita in China, respectively. In different scenarios, the estimated CET varied but was greater than once GDP per capita in most cases. As such, the CET of a QALY in China is close to 1.5 times of GDP per capita, which should be benchmarked for future ICER-based coverage decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-615
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Economics
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Willingness-to-pay
  • QALY
  • Threshold
  • China
  • I18

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