Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

HERO Online Working Paper Series,
University of Oslo, Health Economics Research Programme

No 2008:5: The effect of screening on treatment cost: The case of colorectal cancer

Eline Aas ()
Additional contact information
Eline Aas: Institute of Health Management and Health Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 1089 Blindern, NO-0317 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: This paper presents a medical cost function developed for a screening programme. The medical cost function is a function of advancement both directly and indirectly through survival. We discuss how the medical cost function is affected by screening through a shift in the distribution of cancers according to advancement. We show that screening reduces the treatment cost for cancers diagnosed at the screening, even though the medical cost function not unambiguously increases with stage of advancement. This is the first step in a cost-effectiveness analysis, and even though the results are favourable to the introduction of screening for colorectal cancer as a preventive health measure, total screening costs and health benefits must be evaluated to arrive at a recommendation.

Keywords: treatment cost; stage of advancement; screening; probabilistic sensitivity analysis; bootstrap method

JEL-codes: C41; H42; I10; I12

39 pages, June 2, 2009

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