Health Economics

  • (written as Efficacy)
    The maximum benefit or utility to the individual of the service, treatment regimen, drug, preventive or control measure advocated or applied under 'ideal' conditions. The probability of benefit to individuals in a defined population from a medical technology under 'ideal' conditions of use. More generally, the maximum potential effect of a particular medical action in altering the natural history of a particular disease for the better. 'Ideal' might refer to the excellence of the team running the experiment or trial, or to the quality of the establishment in which they are working. Efficacy alone is a poor guide to choice since it takes no account of the other good (possibly better) health outcomes that the same resources could generate, quite apart from the problem that what has efficacy under 'ideal' conditions may not have it (or have less of it) under normal working conditions. The benefits in terms of life-years gained were small. Relative to orthopaedic surgery without EPO, the benefit was 0.000024 additional life-years and its benefit in augmenting use of the patient's own pre-collected blood was 0.000006 life-years. In short, there was a small expectation of patient benefit. The additional cost per life year amounted, however, to (CAN)$66 million and (CAN)$329 million respectively with the overwhelming implication that many more life-years could be saved by using resources in a different way.


  • noun the ability of an individual to use their skills to achieve something