Health Economic Evaluations

Course content

The course will give students an introduction to the principles of economic evaluations in health care. Topics include:

  • Foundations for economic evaluation
  • Critical assessment of clinical trials
  • Cost measurement
  • Budget impact and cost-of-illness
  • Cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness and cost-utility
  • Outcome and preference measurement
  • Trial-based economic evaluations and decision-analytic modeling
  • How to present results and how to handle uncertainty
  • Value of information analysis
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses
  • Introduction to modeling methods in MS Excel
  • Prioritization in the Danish health care sector


Learning outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to…:


  • Explain the difference between welfarist and extra-welfarist approaches to health economic evaluations
  • Explain differences between cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses
  • Understand and identify biases in clinical trial design and reporting
  • Explain the methods and value of meta-analyses
  • Describe the differences between alternative decision-analytic models including decision trees and Markov models and the difference between trial-based evaluations and decision-analytic models
  • Explain the concepts of deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analysis and their ability to assess robustness of results
  • Explain concepts related to preference measurement (including time trade-off and standard gamble) as well as common instruments (including EQ-5D)
  • Explain the concepts of budget impact analysis and value of information analysis and their usefulness in healthcare decision-making



  • Critically assess health economic evaluations as published in the scientific literature
  • Assess the documented efficacy of a healthcare intervention



  • Using the published literature, determine if a particular healthcare intervention can be said to be cost effective or not
  • Analyze cost-effectiveness analyses to determine the drivers of conclusions and assess their validity 
  • Identify proper methods for analyzing cost-effectiveness of a new healthcare intervention and structure the analysis


The course is built around the book:

Drummond, M. F., Methods for the economic evaluation of health care programmes, 4th edition, Oxford University Press, 2015, ISBN 9780199665877 ( link),

And include chapters from the book: Briggs, A., Decision Modelling for Health Economic Evaluation, Oxford University Press, 2006, ISBN 9780198526629 ( link).

Supplemented by a number of scientific articles.

Understanding of economic concepts including opportunity costs and statistical methods.

3 hours lectures per week (except holidays).

Timetable and venue:
The schedule for the semester spring 2018 will be available no later than 7th of November 2017

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 3 weeks
The exam is a project paper that evaluates published cost-effectiveness research and identifies cost-effective treatments for a disease of the student’s choice. The student should demonstrate the ability to critically appraise cost-effectiveness research.

The paper can be answered in Groups of 2-3 students and only in English.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
if chosen by the Head of Studies.
Criteria for exam assessment

The student must in a satisfactory way demonstrate that he/she has mastered the learning outcome of the course.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 82
  • Exam
  • 82
  • English
  • 206