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PLoS One ; 17(1): e0261759, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1643248


In the beginning of the COVID-19 US epidemic in March 2020, sweeping lockdowns and other aggressive measures were put in place and retained in many states until end of August of 2020; the ensuing economic downturn has led many to question the wisdom of the early COVID-19 policy measures in the US. This study's objective was to evaluate the cost and benefit of the US COVID-19-mitigating policy intervention during the first six month of the pandemic in terms of COVID-19 mortality potentially averted, versus mortality potentially attributable to the economic downturn. We conducted a synthesis-based retrospective cost-benefit analysis of the full complex of US federal, state, and local COVID-19-mitigating measures, including lockdowns and all other COVID-19-mitigating measures, against the counterfactual scenario involving no public health intervention. We derived parameter estimates from a rapid review and synthesis of recent epidemiologic studies and economic literature on regulation-attributable mortality. According to our estimates, the policy intervention saved 866,350-1,711,150 lives (4,886,214-9,650,886 quality-adjusted life-years), while mortality attributable to the economic downturn was 57,922-245,055 lives (2,093,811-8,858,444 life-years). We conclude that the number of lives saved by the spring-summer lockdowns and other COVID-19-mitigation was greater than the number of lives potentially lost due to the economic downturn. However, the net impact on quality-adjusted life expectancy is ambiguous.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Cost-Benefit Analysis/statistics & numerical data , Models, Statistical , Public Health/economics , Quality-Adjusted Life Years , Quarantine/economics , COVID-19/economics , Communicable Disease Control/economics , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Humans , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , Quality of Life/psychology , Quarantine/ethics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United States/epidemiology
Aust Health Rev ; 45(1): 12-13, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054102


The quality adjusted life year (QALY) as a basis of valuing additional expenditure on health is widely accepted. Although early in the COVID-19 pandemic, several commentators called for a similar approach in resolving trade-offs between economic activity and reducing the burden of COVID-19, this has not occurred. The value of a QALY has not been used to deny all intervention, as the rule of rescue attests. Further, while there was no other way of managing the pandemic, there were other means available to mitigate the economic losses. Now that vaccine programs have commenced in several countries, it is interesting to consider whether economic evaluation should now be applied. However, the recognised complexities of the evaluation of vaccines, plus the challenge of measuring opportunity costs in the face of an economic recession and the severity of the consequences of an outbreak even though the probability of transmission is exceedingly low, mean its use will be restricted. COVID-19 has changed everything, even the way we should think about economic evaluation.

COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cost-Benefit Analysis/statistics & numerical data , Health Care Costs/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/economics , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Quality-Adjusted Life Years , Australia/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2