Estimating Taiwan's QALY league table for catastrophic illnesses: Providing real-world evidence to integrate prevention with treatment for resources allocation

Jung-Der Wang, Wu Wei Lai, Szu Chun Yang, Wen Yen Huang, Jing Shiang Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background/purpose: Curative technologies improve patient's survival and/or quality of life but increase financial burdens. Effective prevention benefits all three. We summarize estimation methods and provide examples of how much money is spent per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) or life year (LY) on treating a catastrophic illness under a lifetime horizon and how many QALYs/LYs and lifetime medical costs (LMC) could be potentially saved by prevention. Methods: We established cohorts by interlinkages of Taiwan's nation-wide databases including National Health Insurance. We developed methods to estimate lifetime survival functions, which were multiplied with the medical costs and/or quality of life and summed up to estimate LMC, quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE) and lifetime average cost per QALY/LY for catastrophic illnesses. By comparing with the age-, sex-, and calendar year-matched referents simulated from vital statistics, we obtained the loss-of-QALE and loss-of-life expectancy (LE). Results: The lifetime cost-effectiveness ratios of ventilator-dependent comatose patients, dialysis, spinal cord injury, major trauma, and cancers were US$ 96,800, 16,200–20,000, 5500–5,900, 3400–3,600, and 2900–11,900 per QALY or LY, respectively. The successful prevention of lung, liver, oral, esophagus, stomach, nasopharynx, or ovary cancer would potentially save US$ 28,000–97,000 and > 10 QALYs; whereas those for end-stage kidney disease, stroke, spinal injury, or major trauma would be US$ 55,000–300,000 and 10–14 QALYs. Loss-of-QALE and loss-of-LE were less confounded indicators for comparing the lifetime health benefits of different technologies estimated from real-world data. Conclusions: Integration of prevention with treatment for resources allocation seems feasible and would improve equity and efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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