Cost Minimisation Analysis (CMA)

Cost Minimisation Analysis (CMA) is a strategic economic evaluation tool employed primarily when two or more interventions have demonstrated equivalent effectiveness in terms of their health outcomes. The focus of CMA is solely on the cost aspects of the interventions, excluding any differences in effectiveness or quality of life improvements, as these are assumed to be the same across the options being compared.

In practice, CMA simplifies the decision-making process by identifying the least costly option among alternatives that achieve the same health outcome. This analysis is particularly useful in situations where new treatments are being compared to standard care, and both have been shown to produce identical medical results. The analysis involves a detailed assessment of all direct and indirect costs associated with each intervention, including initial treatment costs, ongoing management expenses, and any costs related to handling side effects or other intervention consequences.

By focusing exclusively on minimizing costs while maintaining a specified level of effectiveness, CMA provides healthcare policymakers and providers with a clear basis for choosing the most economically efficient treatment. This can lead to significant cost savings for healthcare systems without compromising patient care quality, making it a valuable tool in resource-limited settings where budget impact is a major concern.

It is crucial, however, that the premise of equivalent effectiveness is rigorously established through sound clinical evidence before a CMA is conducted. This ensures that the analysis does not overlook potential benefits or harms of the compared interventions, thereby safeguarding patient health outcomes while striving for economic efficiency.