December 12, 2014

The successful recent trends in healthy life expectancy (3)

The Cost of an Additional Disability-Free Life Year for Older Americans: 1992–2005

We already know that the trend of healthy life expectancy is on the right track. If we all agree that under a universal coverage system, the aim should focus on being efficient and equitable at purchasing population health,  then a crucial question would be: how much does it cost an additional healthy life year?.
We do have such estimates for USA. A quite recent article says that the average discounted cost per additional disability-free life year is $71,000, assuming that half of the gains in healthy life expectancy were attributable to increases in spending.
Is this more or less than you would be willing to pay for it?. Recall how much we are spending per month of survival with cancer treatments. You can check it on p.254 of this article. As a society, currently we are paying from €562 (Erlotinib+Chemotherapy) up to €66,164 (Ipilimumab) for one month of additional survival and nobody cares about it. That's life!. Glups!