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A cost-comparison analysis estimates the total costs of two or more interventions, including downstream costs, and the numbers of individuals affected by each intervention but does not estimate cost-effectiveness ratios relative to health outcomes. This approach was developed in the early 1970s as a method of cost accounting with specific applications to ascertaining the lowest-cost methods of pharmacologic dosing and laboratory testing. An assumption that is usually either explicit or implicit in such analyses is that health outcomes are comparable across interventions. Otherwise, the lowest-cost strategy would not necessarily be desirable.

A cost-comparison analysis, which is also commonly referred to as a cost-consequences analysis, is less demanding to perform because it does not require clinical or epidemiologic data on health outcomes, such as long-term morbidity or ...

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