There are three approaches to health economic evaluation for comparing two therapies. These are (i) cost minimization, in which one assumes or observes no difference in effectiveness, (ii) incremental cost-effectiveness, and (iii) incremental net benefit. The latter can be expressed either in units of effectiveness or costs. When analysing data from a clinical trial, expressing incremental net benefit in units of cost allows the investigator to examine all three approaches in a single graph, complete with the corresponding statistical inferences. Furthermore, if costs and effectiveness are not censored, this can be achieved using common two-sample statistical procedures. The above will be illustrated using two examples, one with censoring and one without.
Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.