Searchers vs surveyors in estimating the monetary value of a QALY: resolving a nasty dilemma for NICE

Rachel M. Baker, Susan Chilton, Cam Donaldson, Michael Jones-Lee, Emily Lancsar, Helen Mason, Hugh Metcalf, Mark Pennington, John Wildman

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Recently, for many health economics researchers, empirical estimation of the monetary valuation of a QALY has become an important endeavour. Different philosophical and practical approaches to this have emerged. On one hand, there is the view that, with health care budgets set centrally, decision-making bodies within the system can iterate, from observation of a series of previous decisions, towards the value of a QALY is, i.e. they can search for such a value. Alternatively, and more consistent with the approach taken in other public sectors, individual members of the public are surveyed with the aim of directly eliciting a preference-based – also known as a willingness-to-pay-based (WTP-based) - value of a QALY.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-447
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Economics, Policy and Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011



  • QALY
  • healthcare budgets
  • NICE
  • health economics

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