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Concept: Cost-benefit analysis


In Baltimore, MD, as in many cities throughout the USA, overdose rates are on the rise due to both the increase of prescription opioid abuse and that of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids in the drug market. Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) are a widely implemented public health intervention throughout the world, with 97 existing in 11 countries worldwide. Research has documented the public health, social, and economic benefits of SIFs, yet none exist in the USA. The purpose of this study is to model the health and financial costs and benefits of a hypothetical SIF in Baltimore.

Concepts: Cost-benefit analysis, Drug addiction, Cost-utility analysis, Naloxone, Morphine, Cost, Heroin, Opioid


BACKGROUND: Due to global mercury pollution and the adverse health effects of prenatal exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), an assessment of the economic benefits of prevented developmental neurotoxicity is necessary for any cost-benefit analysis. METHODS: Distributions of hair-Hg concentrations among women of reproductive age were obtained from the DEMOCOPHES project (1,875 subjects in 17 countries) and literature data (6,820 subjects from 8 countries). The exposures were assumed to comply with log-normal distributions. Neurotoxicity effects were estimated from a linear dose-response function with a slope of 0.465 Intelligence Quotient (IQ) point reduction per mug/g increase in the maternal hair-Hg concentration during pregnancy, assuming no deficits below a hair-Hg limit of 0.58 mug/g thought to be safe. A logarithmic IQ response was used in sensitivity analyses. The estimated IQ benefit cost was based on lifetime income, adjusted for purchasing power parity. RESULTS: The hair-mercury concentrations were the highest in Southern Europe and lowest in Eastern Europe. The results suggest that, within the EU, more than 1.8 million children are born every year with MeHg exposures above the limit of 0.58 mug/g, and about 200,000 births exceed a higher limit of 2.5 mug/g proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The total annual benefits of exposure prevention within the EU were estimated at more than 600,000 IQ points per year, corresponding to a total economic benefit between [euro sign]8,000 million and [euro sign]9,000 million per year. About four-fold higher values were obtained when using the logarithmic response function, while adjustment for productivity resulted in slightly lower total benefits. These calculations do not include the less tangible advantages of protecting brain development against neurotoxicity or any other adverse effects. CONCLUSIONS: These estimates document that efforts to combat mercury pollution and to reduce MeHg exposures will have very substantial economic benefits in Europe, mainly in southern countries. Some data may not be entirely representative, some countries were not covered, and anticipated changes in mercury pollution all suggest a need for extended biomonitoring of human MeHg exposure.

Concepts: People's Republic of China, Europe, Cost-benefit analysis, Western Europe, United States, Methylmercury, Eastern Europe, European Union


Benefit-cost analyses of tobacco regulations include estimates of the informed choice of smokers to continue smoking. Few studies have focused on subjective feelings associated with continued smoking. This study estimates how smoker discontent and regret relate to risk perceptions and health concerns.

Concepts: Cultural studies, Tobacco smoking, Welfare, Tobacco, Cost-benefit analysis, Smoking cessation, Decision theory, Nicotine


Rates of exclusive breastfeeding are slowly increasing, but remain suboptimal globally despite the health and economic benefits. This study estimates the costs of not breastfeeding across seven countries in Southeast Asia and presents a cost-benefit analysis of a modeled comprehensive breastfeeding strategy in Viet Nam, based on a large programme. There have been very few such studies previously for low- and middle-income countries. The estimates used published data on disease prevalence and breastfeeding patterns for the seven countries, supplemented by information on healthcare costs from representative institutions. Modelling of costs of not breastfeeding used estimated effects obtained from systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Modelling of cost-benefit for Viet Nam used programme data on costs combined with effects from a large-scale cluster randomized breastfeeding promotion intervention with controls. This study found that over 12 400 preventable child and maternal deaths per year in the seven countries could be attributed to inadequate breastfeeding. The economic benefits associated with potential improvements in cognition alone, through higher IQ and earnings, total $1.6 billion annually. The loss exceeds 0.5% of Gross National Income in the country with the lowest exclusive breastfeeding rate (Thailand). The potential savings in health care treatment costs ($0.3 billion annually) from reducing the incidence of diarrhoea and pneumonia could help offset the cost of breastfeeding promotion. Based on the data available and authors' assumptions, investing in a national breastfeeding promotion strategy in Viet Nam could result in preventing 200 child deaths per year and generate monetary benefits of US$2.39 for every US$1, or a 139% return on investment. These encouraging results suggest that there are feasible and affordable opportunities to accelerate progress towards achieving the Global Nutrition Target for exclusive breastfeeding by 2025.

Concepts: Cost-benefit analysis, Incidence, Costs, Cambodia, Southeast Asia, Investment, Vietnam, Cost


PURPOSE: To study macular hole (MH) surgery in terms of baseline demographics, intraoperative complications, post-vitrectomy cataract, reoperation, and visual outcome. DESIGN: National Ophthalmology Database study. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1078 eyes from 1045 patients undergoing primary MH surgery. METHODS: Participating centers prospectively collected clinical data using a single electronic medical record (EMR) system, with automatic extraction of anonymized data to a national database, over 8 years. The following data were extracted for eyes undergoing MH surgery: demographics, procedure elements, intraoperative complications, visual acuity (VA), and further surgery. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Description of the primary procedures performed, intraoperative complication rate, change in VA, proportion of eyes undergoing subsequent surgery for persisting MH, cataract, or retinal detachment. RESULTS: The median age was 70.3 years, with a 2.2:1 female preponderance. All operations included a pars plana vitrectomy (PPV)-41.1% with hexafluoroethane (C(2)F(6)), 25.6% with perfluoropropane (C(3)F(8)), 24.5% with sulfahexafluoride (SF(6)), 2.2% with air, and 0.4% with silicone oil. A PPV was combined with internal limiting membrane (ILM) peel in 94.1% and cataract surgery in 40.5%. One or more intraoperative complications occurred in 12.4%. The median presenting logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) VA improved from 0.80 to 0.50 after a median follow-up of 0.6 years; 57.8% of eyes improved ≥0.30 logMAR units (∼2 Snellen lines). The choice of gas tamponade did not significantly influence the visual outcome, but eyes undergoing ILM peel were significantly more likely to gain ≥0.30 logMAR units, as were eyes with poor presenting VA. Subsequently, 4.2% of eyes underwent repeat surgery for MH and 2.4% for retinal detachment, and, excluding pseudophakic eyes, 64.6% underwent cataract surgery within 1 year. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides pooled, anonymized data on the demographics, complications, and visual outcome of MH surgery. This may enable vitreoretinal surgeons to benchmark their case-mix and outcomes, and facilitate risk-benefit and cost-benefit analyses. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE(S): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.

Concepts: Cost-benefit analysis, Surgery, Eye surgery, Cataract, Retina, Vitrectomy, Visual acuity, Ophthalmology


The 2-1-1 helpline is a social services innovation that has spread rapidly throughout the U.S. Policy diffusion theory suggests that policymakers seek to reduce uncertainty by anticipating the effects of a proposed innovation through tools such as cost-benefit analyses. Few policy diffusion studies have examined use of information, such as cost-benefit analyses, in the diffusion process. The purpose of this study is to examine how cost-benefit analyses were used during the rapid diffusion of 2-1-1 across states. The paper also describes components of 2-1-1 cost-benefit analyses.

Concepts: Benefit-cost ratio, Cultural studies, Diffusion, Cost-benefit analysis, Sociology, Diffusion of innovations, Decision theory, Policy


OBJECTIVES: Pancreatic leak is a morbid complication following left pancreatectomy, which results in prolonged hospitalization, additional diagnostic testing and invasive procedures. The present authors have previously demonstrated that mesh reinforcement of stapled left pancreatectomy results in fewer pancreatic leaks. This study was conducted to investigate whether mesh reinforcement also results in cost benefits for the health care system. METHODS: A cost benefit model was developed to estimate net cost savings from the payer’s perspective. The model is based on the results of a randomized, single-blinded trial of mesh versus no mesh reinforcement of the pancreatic remnant after left pancreatectomy. A two-way sensitivity analysis was conducted to determine the model’s sensitivity to fluctuations in the cost of mesh and the effectiveness of the mesh in reducing clinically significant leaks. RESULTS: Average total costs for an episode of care were US$13 337 and US$15 505 for patients who did and did not receive mesh, respectively, which indicates savings of US$2168. Two-way sensitivity analysis showed that, given a probability of 1.9% for developing a clinically significant leak in patients in whom mesh reinforcement was used, the strategy would continue to save costs if mesh were priced at ≤US$1804. CONCLUSIONS: Mesh reinforcement decreases clinically significant pancreatic leaks. Despite the additional cost of mesh reinforcement, the use of mesh reinforcement results in overall cost savings for the health care system because of the resultant decrease in the occurrence of clinically significant leaks.

Concepts: Benefit-cost ratio, Cost-utility analysis, Optimism bias, Cost, Cost-benefit analysis, Costs


Abstract. To date, existing studies focus largely on the economic detriments of malaria. However, if we are to create suitable incentives for larger-scale, more sustained anti-malaria efforts from a wider group of stakeholders, we need a much better understanding of the economic benefits of malaria reduction and elimination. Our report seeks to rectify this disjuncture by showing how attaining the funding needed to meet internationally agreed targets for malaria elimination would, on conservative assumptions, generate enormous economic improvements. We use a cost-benefit analysis anchored in Global Malaria Action Plan projections of malaria eradication based on fully met funding goals. By calculating the value of economic output accrued caused by work years saved and subtracting the costs of intervention, we find that malaria reduction and elimination during 2013-2035 has a 2013 net present value of US $208.6 billion.

Concepts: Mathematical finance, Macroeconomics, Investment, Costs, Economics, Cost, Cost-benefit analysis, Net present value


There is little empirical understanding of how young children’s screen engagement links to their well-being. Data from 19,957 telephone interviews with parents of 2- to 5-year-olds assessed their children’s digital screen use and psychological well-being in terms of caregiver attachment, resilience, curiosity, and positive affect in the past month. Evidence did not support implementing limits (< 1 or < 2 hr/day) as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, once variability in child ethnicity, age, gender, household income, and caregiver educational attainment were considered. Yet, small parabolic functions linked screen time to attachment and positive affect. Results suggest a critical cost-benefit analysis is needed to determine whether setting firm limits constitutes a judicious use of caregiver and professional resources.

Concepts: Cost-benefit analysis, Child, Critical thinking, Positive psychology, Psychology, Developmental psychology, Household income in the United States


Fluoropyrimidines are frequently prescribed anticancer drugs. A polymorphism in the fluoropyrimidine metabolizing enzyme dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD; ie, DPYD*2A) is strongly associated with fluoropyrimidine-induced severe and life-threatening toxicity. This study determined the feasibility, safety, and cost of DPYD*2A genotype-guided dosing.

Concepts: Oncology, Cost-benefit analysis, Antimetabolite, Cure, Chemotherapy