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Book and Media Reviews
February 22, 2006


Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;295(8):943-944. doi:10.1001/jama.295.8.943

Proponents of cost-effectiveness analysis can point to some noticeable accomplishments in recent years. Experts in cost-effectiveness analysis are in demand in industry and academia, top medical journals publish increasing numbers of cost-effectiveness analyses, and Institute of Medicine reports, medical guidelines, and federal government grant solicitations routinely make reference to cost-effectiveness analysis.

Yet, there is a nagging sense among practitioners that instances in which cost-effectiveness analysis has been pivotal in decision making are few and far between. In Using Cost-effectiveness Analysis to Improve Health Care, Peter J. Neumann, an associate professor in Harvard's Center for Risk Analysis and School of Public Health, takes stock of the field and examines the failure of cost-effectiveness analysis to gain wider acceptance as a formal decision-making tool.