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Economic Evidence for Health Treatments and Programs

  1. You are expected to answer all questions.
  2. The questions are presented in different ways, so you should carefully read the information given so that you understand what is required. Think about what the question is really asking rather than simply listing information about a topic
  3. To achieve maximum marks, you must answer the specific question posed.  
  4. Answers requiring definitions, descriptions or explanations should be concise, organised and demonstrate correct use of economic concepts.
  5. Where calculations are required, you should show your work, i.e. the steps in deriving your answer. Marks are allocated for the steps and not just the final calculation.
  6. Where graphs and tables are requested or included in your answer, they should be properly titled and labelled.  
  7. In-text citations and a reference list are required only for the seen question.  
  8. Your solutions can be typed and submitted as word document (or equivalent), as a pdf document, or be handwritten. If handwritten, ensure your writing is clear and readable. You will need to photograph each page and assemble your solution paper into a single document in PDF format. See below for advice on options to facilitate this.
  9. Though your take home examination can be completed in less time, you are being given 24 hours to complete the paper and upload your answers from the time the exam paper is released; the paper will be released at 10.00 (GMT+1) on 14thJuly 2020 and the drop box will remain open until 10.00 (GMT+1) on 15th July 2020.
  10. The examination paper should be downloaded from the Assessment section of the module MyLearning page at the time of release.
  11. A copy of the examination paper will also be emailed to your University email address at the scheduled examination time as a backup.
  12. Save a copy of the paper to your computer. The word document may open as read only. You will need to save (or duplicate) it to your computer to make it editable.  
  13. Copying of any resource, including lecture notes and slides, [with the exception of formulae], is not permitted.
  14. As with any assessed piece of work, credit cannot be given for work that is plagiarised and/or copied from other students.

When the price of hip surgery in a private hospital was increased from £10,300 to £20,450, it was observed that the number of surgeries performed subsequently dropped from 5221 to 4437.  

  1. Calculate the price elasticity of demand for the price change in hip surgery. 3 marks
  2. Based on your calculation, what type of elasticity of demand is this? 2 marks
  3. Give reasons for the type of elasticity of demand you stated in (b) above? 5 marks

TobiPharm PLC has developed a new drug X to treat type 2 diabetes and is seeking to get it approved for use within the National Health Service (NHS). The mean annual cost of treatment with drug X is £23,555 per patient and health outcomes data shows a gain of 11 quality adjusted life years (QALYs).  The currently available treatment in the market is drug Y which delivers 7 QALYs and has a mean annual cost of £8,134.  You have been contracted to provide economic evidence to help decide on which treatment option should be provided to patients.

  1. Using the data provided, calculate an appropriate summary measure representing the economic value of drug X compared with drug Y. 6 marks
  2. What is the technical term for the measure you calculated? 2 marks
  3. Based on your calculation, you are required to make a decision about whether the new treatment can be recommended to be made available on the UK National Health Service. Explain your answer and illustrate it on a cost effectiveness plane. 10 marks

The concept of equity is an important consideration in health economics.

  1. What does the term ‘equity’ mean and how is it different to ‘equality’? 4 marks
  2. Describe the different types of equity. 4 marks
  3. Outline the main barriers that can lead to inequity in access to health care. 6 marks

A local health authority (LHA) has money available to commission an additional health programme for its local population. From an initial list of 10, it has shortlisted two potential programmes: A and B. But the LHA can only fund one of the programmes, not both. Information on the two programmes is presented below.

Programme data

Programme A

Programme B

Annual total cost



Monetary value of expected health benefits



Estimated coverage (no. of people to be reached)



Information about the population that each programme will target is shown below:

Population data

Programme A

Programme B

Life expectancy

82.4 years

77.3 years

% with a long-term condition



Annual household income



Proportion living in social housing



Applying relevant value for money concepts, answer the following questions:

  1. Without any calculations and simply based on the data presented in the tables, on what basis could the LHA choose to fund programme A? Explain your answer.                2 marks
  2. Without any calculations and simply based on the data presented in the tables, on what basis could the LHA choose to fund programme B? Explain your answer. 2 marks
  3. How would you determine which programme offers better value for money? Carry out appropriate calculations to determine this and explain your answer. 8 marks
  4. Explain the main disadvantages of the method you used in (c) 6 marks

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