<p>Introduction In cost-effectiveness analyses, the future costs, disutility and mortality from alternative causes of morbidity are often not completely taken into account. We explored the impact of different assumed values for each of these factors on the cost-effectiveness of screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Methods Twenty different CRC screening strategies and two EAC screening strategies were evaluated using microsimulation. Average health-related expenses, disutility and mortality by age for the U.S. general population were estimated using surveys and lifetables. First, we evaluated strategies under default assumptions, with average mortality, and no accounting for health-related costs and disutility. Then, we varied costs, disutility and mortality between 100% and 150% of the estimated population averages, with 125% as the best estimate. Primary outcome was the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained among efficient strategies. Results The set of efficient strategies was robust to assumptions on future costs, disutility and mortality from other causes of morbidity. However, the incremental cost per QALY gained increased with higher assumed values. For example, for CRC, the ratio for the recommended strategy increased from $15,600 with default assumptions, to $32,600 with average assumption levels, $61,100 with 25% increased levels, and $111,100 with 50% increased levels. Similarly, for EAC, the incremental costs per QALY gained for the recommended EAC screening strategy increased from $106,300 with default assumptions to $198,300 with 50% increased assumptions. In sensitivity analyses without discounting or including only above-average expenses, the impact of assumptions was relatively smaller, but best estimates of the cost per QALY gained remained substantially higher than default estimates. Conclusions Assumptions on future costs, utility and mortality from other causes of morbidity substantially impact cost-effectiveness outcomes of cancer screening. More empiric evidence and consensus are needed to guide assumptions in future analyses.</p>

doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0253893, hdl.handle.net/1765/135829
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

A. (Amir) Omidvari, I. (Iris) Lansdorp - Vogelaar, H.J. (Harry) de Koning, & R.G.S. (Reinier) Meester. (2021). Impact of assumptions on future costs, disutility and mortality in cost-effectiveness analysis; a model exploration. PLoS ONE, 16(7 July). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0253893