Cost-Utility Analysis

Cost-Utility Analysis (CUA) is a specialized form of cost-effectiveness analysis that focuses on the cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) or other preference-based health outcomes. This analysis assesses the additional cost against the QALYs gained from two different interventions, providing a standardized metric that facilitates comparison across diverse disease areas. By employing QALYs as a universal measure of health benefit, CUA allows for comprehensive evaluations that support broad-based healthcare resource allocation decisions.

The application of QALYs in CUA is instrumental for health technology assessment agencies such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK, which require this type of analysis to ensure that healthcare interventions offer the greatest benefit relative to their costs. This approach not only helps in prioritizing healthcare spending effectively but also ensures that the allocation of resources maximizes health outcomes across the population. As a result, CUA is a critical tool in public health policy, enabling decision-makers to make informed choices about which interventions to fund based on their utility and cost-effectiveness.