The economic analyses in this book focus on activities whose main objective is to improve health. This chapter summarizes and explains the common features and some of the variations of economic analysis and points the reader to examples throughout the book. First is a general discussion of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA), which is the principal analytic tool used here. This explains what such analysis does and does not provide, how it is related to the concept of burden of disease, and how it can be used, along with other criteria, in setting priorities. The subsequent section deals with the costs of interventions: first with the question of which costs to include in the analysis, and then with the conversion of costs in national currencies to equivalents in U.S. dollars for international comparisons. This section also contains a brief description of the differences in the quality of the basic evidence and in how widely conclusions are applicable. The final section, indicates how the type of analysis presented in this volume might be improved and how it can be applied to help set priorities among the large number of interventions to which limited resources can be applied.
Musgrove, P.; Fox-Rushby, J. Economic analysis for priority setting. In: Jamison, D.T.; Breman, J.G.; Measham, A.R.; et al. (Editors) Disease control priorities in developing countries. Second edition. World Bank, Washington DC, USA (2006) 271-285.