Objectives: Demographic projections suggest a major increase in non-communicable disease NCD mortality over the next two decades in developing countries. In a climate of scarce resources, policy-makers need to know which interventions represent value for money. The prohibitive cost of performing multiple economic evaluations has generated interest in transferring the results of studies from one setting to another.
This paper aims to bridge the gap in the current literature by critically evaluating the available published data on economic evaluations of NCD interventions in developing countries.
Methods: We reviewed the methodological quality of 32 economic evaluations of NCD interventions in developing countries published between 1984 and 2000.
Results and conclusions: The quality of studies was poor and resource allocation decisions made by local and global policy-makers on the basis of this evidence could be misleading. More economic evaluations need to be funded which take a broad view, which measure and value all costs and which present data in a transparent manner. We have identified some clear gaps in the literature, particularly around injuries and strategies for tackling the consequences of the emerging tobacco epidemic.
Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation (2006) 4 (7) [doi:10.1186/1478-7547-4-7]