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NCD examines alternatives to popular prescription drug cost-effectiveness method that can discriminate

Monday, November 28, 2022

For Immediate Release

Nov. 28, 2022

WASHINGTON—Today the National Council on Disability releases a policy brief that examines alternatives to a popular prescription drug cost-effectiveness methodology that has the potential to discriminate against people with disabilities.

Alternatives to QALY-Based Cost-Effectiveness Analysis for Determining the Value of Prescription Drugs and Other Health Interventions supplements NCD’s 2019 report, Quality Adjusted Life Years and the Devaluation of Life with a Disability. That report described the design and discriminatory impact of QALY-based cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) – a method of comparing the cost and effectiveness of two or more healthcare interventions and determining if the value of an intervention justifies its cost.

“The enormous need to rein in costs of prescriptions and medical care should and can be done without undervaluing the lives of people with disabilities,” said NCD Chairman Andrés Gallegos. “With this brief, we have explored alternatives to a methodology that often does.”

This brief highlights alternatives to standard CEA: augmented or extended traditional CEA; multi-criteria decision analysis; frameworks for determining value to individual patients; and organizations conducting value assessments or advancing methodologies outside QALY-based CEA. The brief then offers recommendations to avoid the use of QALY.

NCD is an independent, bipartisan federal agency that advises the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policy.

Read the report at







An official website of the National Council on Disability