Introduction to economic evaluation in health sciences
Mitropoulou C., Fragoulakis V., Buchanan J., Wordsworth S., Patrinos GP.
Economics refers to the social science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Health economics, in particular, deals with the choices of society regarding the healthcare sector. This chapter introduces the notions of economics and health economics, the latter being the primary focus of this book. We introduce the idea that individuals and societies must choose how to allocate scarce resources among competing alternative uses, describe key concepts such as budget constraints, demand, indifference curves, utility, opportunity costs, and social welfare, and provide an overview of an important resource allocation tool, namely, economic evaluation. Finally, we analyze the types of economic evaluation based on the notions of welfarism and extra-welfarism.