Strategies for evaluating the economic value of drugs in alcohol dependence treatment

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 May 1;122(3):165-73. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.08.026. Epub 2011 Sep 15.


Background: To assess existing health economic strategies, which are used to evaluate the economic value of drugs to treat alcohol dependence (AD) such as acamprosate, naltrexone and any other pharmaceuticals.

Methods: A systematic literature search on AD treatment economic evaluation studies was performed in multiple electronic bibliographic and economic databases.

Results: A total of seven studies were found that involved economic evaluations of pharmacotherapy treatment of AD. It was seen that all individual pharmacotherapy treatment programs including acamprosate, naltrexone and combined treatments have resulted in a net benefit or cost savings. However, the examined studies used different methods to estimate the costs, cost savings, and cost effectiveness of the treatments.

Conclusions: Pharmacotherapy treatment of AD produced marked economic benefits. However, the number of studies on the economic evaluation of pharmacotherapy for AD treatment is limited. The gaps in these studies have also been identified as necessitating more research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acamprosate
  • Alcoholism / drug therapy*
  • Alcoholism / economics*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / economics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Naltrexone / economics*
  • Naltrexone / therapeutic use
  • Taurine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Taurine / economics
  • Taurine / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Taurine
  • Naltrexone
  • Acamprosate