Sharing and the provision of "cost-ineffective" life-extending services to less severely ill patients

Jeff Richardson, Angelo Iezzi, Aimee Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cost-utility analysis prioritizes services using cost, life-years, and the health state utility of the life-years. Nevertheless, a significant body of evidence suggests that the public would prefer more variables to be considered in decision making and at least some sharing of the budget with services for severe conditions that are not cost-effective because of their high cost. Objectives: To examine whether this preference for sharing persists for less severe conditions when both cost effectiveness and illness severity would indicate that resources should be allocated to other services. Methods: Survey respondents were asked to divide a budget between two patients facing life-threatening illnesses. The severity of the illnesses differed and the price of treatment was varied. Results: Sharing occurred in all scenarios including scenarios in which the illness was less severe and services were not cost-effective. Results are consistent with behavior commonly observed in other contexts. Conclusions: Results suggest that sharing per se is important and that the public would support some funding of cost-ineffective services for less severe health problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-957
Number of pages7
JournalValue in Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Cost-utility analysis
  • Orphan services
  • Reciprocity
  • Sharing
  • Social preferences

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