Ranking Preventive Interventions from Different Policy Domains: What Are the Most Cost-Effective Ways to Improve Public Health? (Van der Vliet et al., 2020)

Abstract: It is widely acknowledged that in order to promote public health and prevent diseases, a  wide range of scientific disciplines and sectors beyond the health sector need to be involved. Evidence-based interventions, beyond preventive health interventions targeting disease risk factors and interventions from other sectors, should be developed and implemented. Investing in these preventive health policies is challenging as budgets have to compete with other governmental expenditures. The current study aimed to identify, compare and rank cost-effective preventive interventions targeting metabolic, environmental, occupational and behavioral risk factors. To identify these interventions, a literature search was performed including original full economic evaluations of Western country interventions that had not yet been implemented in the Netherlands. Several workshops were held with experts from different disciplines. In total, 51 different interventions (including 13 cost saving interventions) were identified and ranked based on their incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) and potential averted disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), resulting in two rankings of the most cost-effective interventions and one ranking of the 13 cost saving interventions. This approach, resulting in an intersectoral ranking, can assist policy makers in implementing cost-effective preventive action that considers not only the health sector, but also other sectors.