Dr Andrea Teng, Dr Melissa McLeod, Professor Tony Blakely, Professor Nick Wilson
We have just published a modelling study on stomach cancer prevention in the international journal BMC Infectious Diseases (1). This blog briefly examines how a possible population screening programme, that tests and treats for infection by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori in the stomach, may be a cost-effective way to reduce the stomach cancer burden and ethnic inequalities in stomach cancer incidence and mortality in New Zealand.
Professor Tony Blakely
Keytruda, or pembrolizumab, is a new immune inhibitor drug that appears to have pronounced effectiveness in slowing – even reversing – disease progression in patients with advanced melanoma. It has received much media attention in recent months, and even calls from politicians to over-rule the PHARMAC process (currently PHARMAC do not recommend funding). In this blog I apply our BODE3 rapid cost-effectiveness calculator, and find that Keytruda may well be (just) cost-effective – but with huge uncertainty, and variably by age. This blog closely reflects a Radio New Zealand interview with Wallace Chapman last Sunday.
By the BODE3 Programme Team*
In this blog we describe an online calculator we developed to estimate the maximum investment society might consider spending on life-saving health interventions, while remaining cost-effective. For NZ, the amounts generated by this calculator vary greatly by age: NZ$ 1.2 million for an intervention to save the life of a child, NZ$ 0.7 million for a 50-year-old, and NZ$ 0.2 million for an 80-year-old, assuming we are willing to spend $45,000 per healthy life-years gained and the person is returned to the expected health status of the average NZ citizen. These results are very sensitive to the choice of discount rate and to the selected cost-effectiveness threshold. Policy-makers could use this calculator as a rapid screening tool to determine if more detailed cost-effectiveness analyses of potential life-saving interventions might be worthwhile.
Professor Tony Blakely, Associate Professor Diana Sarfati
In this blog post we look at a new modelling study on bowel cancer screening, published in a top US journal (JAMA). We discuss the cost-effectiveness of such screening and consider the current NZ context for bowel cancer screening.
Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Megan Smith (UNSW Australia), Professor Tony Blakely
This blog looks at a study we just published on a cost-utility analysis around extending HPV vaccination to boys in NZ. In a nutshell, it is not currently cost-effective for boys. Here we put these results into a wider context of vaccination – which is often, but not always, a good use of limited health sector resources.