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Costing the COVID-19 pandemic: an exploratory economic evaluation of hypothetical suppression policy in the United Kingdom

Zala, Darshan, Mosweu, Iris, Critchlow, Simone, Romeo, Renee and McCrone, Paul (2020) Costing the COVID-19 pandemic: an exploratory economic evaluation of hypothetical suppression policy in the United Kingdom. Value in Health, 23 (11). 1432 - 1437. ISSN 1098-3015

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jval.2020.07.001


Objective This study aims to cost and calculate the relative cost-effectiveness of the hypothetical suppression policies found in the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team model. Methods Key population-level disease projections in deaths, intensive care unit bed days, and non–intensive care unit bed days were taken from the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team report of March 2020, which influenced the decision to introduce suppression policies in the United Kingdom. National income loss estimates were from a study that estimated the impact of a hypothetical pandemic on the UK economy, with sensitivity analyses based on projections that are more recent. Individual quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) loss and costed resource use inputs were taken from published sources. Results Imperial model projected suppression polices compared to an unmitigated pandemic, even with the most pessimistic national income loss scenarios under suppression (10%), give incremental cost-effectiveness ratios below £50 000 per QALY. Assuming a maximum reduction in national income of 7.75%, incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for Imperial model projected suppression versus mitigation are below 60 000 per QALY. Conclusions Results are uncertain and conditional on the accuracy of the Imperial model projections; they are also sensitive to estimates of national income loss. Nevertheless, it would be difficult to claim that the hypothetical Imperial model–projected suppression policies are obviously cost-ineffective relative to the alternatives available. Despite evolving differences between government policy and Imperial model–projected suppression policy, it is hoped this article will provide some early insight into the trade-offs that are involved.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 ISPOR–The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 07:48
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:53

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