Lifetime cost-effectiveness of skin cancer prevention through promotion of daily sunscreen use

Hirst, Nicholas G., Gordon, Louisa G., Scuffham, Paul A. and Green, Adele C. (2012) Lifetime cost-effectiveness of skin cancer prevention through promotion of daily sunscreen use. Value in Health, 15 2: 261-268. doi:10.1016/j.jval.2011.10.009

Author Hirst, Nicholas G.
Gordon, Louisa G.
Scuffham, Paul A.
Green, Adele C.
Title Lifetime cost-effectiveness of skin cancer prevention through promotion of daily sunscreen use
Journal name Value in Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1098-3015
Publication date 2012-03
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jval.2011.10.009
Volume 15
Issue 2
Start page 261
End page 268
Total pages 8
Place of publication New York, United States
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives: Health-care costs for the treatment of skin cancers are disproportionately high in many white populations, yet they can be reduced through the promotion of sun-protective behaviors. We investigated the lifetime health costs and benefits of sunscreen promotion in the primary prevention of skin cancers, including melanoma.
Methods: A decision-analytic model with Markov chains was used to integrate data from a central community-based randomized controlled trial conducted in Australia and other epidemiological and published sources. Incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year was the primary outcome. Extensive one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to test the uncertainty in the base findings with plausible variation to the model parameters.
Results: Using a combined household and government perspective, the discounted incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year gained from the sunscreen intervention was AU$40,890. Over the projected lifetime of the intervention cohort, this would prevent 33 melanomas, 168 cutaneous squamous-cell carcinomas, and 4 melanoma-deaths at a cost of approximately AU$808,000. The likelihood that the sunscreen intervention was cost-effective was 64% at a willingness-to-pay threshold of AU$50,000 per quality-adjusted life-year gained.
Conclusions: Subject to the best-available evidence depicted in our model, the active promotion of routine sunscreen use to white populations residing in sunny settings is likely to be a cost-effective investment for governments and consumers over the long term.
Keyword Cost-effectiveness
Health-care costs
Primary prevention
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Available online 15 December 2011

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Public Health Publications
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