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ARCHIVED - Investing In Prevention - The Economic Perspective

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This synthesis paper summarizes the current state of knowledge and debate about the economic benefits of prevention.  This includes evaluations of specific clinical, health protection, and health promotion interventions, as well as the potential micro- and macro-economic benefits of acting on broader determinants of health (e.g., early childhood development) for health and well-being.

The report

  • highlights the economic potential of prevention,
  • draws on examples of recent economic evaluations in key intervention areas to illustrate general research trends,
  • discusses current gaps in evaluation knowledge, and
  • outlines some of the critical methodological considerations to make when using economic evaluation evidence to inform policy and program decisions.

Consistent with other assessments of the economics of preventive health interventions, this survey of the recent evidence found that some interventions are cost-saving for the health system, and many others are cost-effective. Adopting a broader social determinants of health perspective can increase the likelihood of favourable cost-effectiveness, and potential for cost-savings, for many prevention initiatives.

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