Economic Principles and Policy Making

Should public health professionals promote policies that are the most effective or those that
are the best value for the dollar? Describe how economic principles and perspective are
used in the policymaking process, citing a specific example from the research literature.

Economic Principles and Policy Making

Economics principles are about preferences, incentives, and disincentives that drive the
decisions that are made. Any individual or social aggregate that decides on what to do with their
stuff, time, money, and the rest are making an economic decision. Economic principles should be
used by healthcare professionals to promote effective policies and not those that are the best
value for the dollar. The precedent aim of health economics the calculation of cost-benefit
figures that help create new interventions in ways that can turn out beneficial in the end (Scott,
Jessani, Qiu, & Bennet, 2018) .
As a high-level overview of the subject matter, the critical thing is the ability to put a
value in any medical procedure. In the healthcare industry, healthcare value is quantified as a
unit called QUALYS (Quality, Adjusted, Life, Years). One QALY translates to a single year of
health without issues. This can be calculated by taking the average person suffering from a
particular ailment. The possible outcomes of the same illness minus the intervention that are
being evaluated. For all the outcomes outcome, probabilities can be assigned as well as a utility
score. With the utility score taken as a measure the quality of life decrease with a particular
outcome. For instance, individuals with degenerative diseases could argue that if they were to be
incapacitated by the illness, their substantive quality of life would thus decrease by an
approximate 50%. This automatically translates to a utility score of 0.5.
When applying the utility score, other factors as well as probabilities involved, we can
calculate the average benefit of the drug under evaluation. Calculating that advantage throughout

the treatment, we will amount in an increase in QALY’s generated by the drug. Implementing
effective such policies, instead of those that are the best value for the dollar is thus best


Scott, K., Jessani, N., Qiu, M., & Bennet, S. (2018). Developing more participatory and
accountable institutions for health: identifying health system research priorities for the
Sustainable Development Goal-era. Health Policy and Planning, 980.

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