John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Sunday, October 12, 2008
  QALY - Quality Adjusted Life Years
NICE use QALYs to calculate the effectiveness of drugs. I heard tonight that someone aged 60 cannot have a QALY of more than 0.6 per year.

This sounds very wrong, but is not clear on the NICE site.

It may be this is the reason why NICE have been so difficult on revealing their formulae.

The challenge now is to get to the Truth.
 
Comments:
John, it sounds like utter rubbish. A QALY is based on the quality of life. There is a problem when economists attempt to evaluate the worth of life on the basis of economic contribution. That used to happen in cost-benefit analysis.

The problem with QALYs is that they may value the life of a disabled person as of less quality than a fully abled person. They are also problematic when aggregated over a long time period. That may be the source of your rumour because it may be that some analysts assume that quality of life will decline with extended age. However future QALYs are also discounted - just the same as any future economic costs or benefits - and to assume declining quality of life seems to me to be double-counting. Indeed should a conventional discount rate be used?
Jon
 
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