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Pharmacoeconomics. 2011 May;29(5):371-86. doi: 10.2165/11539960-000000000-00000.

Modelling the epidemiology of infectious diseases for decision analysis: a primer.

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Modelling and Economics Unit, Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency, London, UK.


The number of economic evaluations related to infectious disease topics has increased over the last 2 decades. However, many such evaluations rely on models that do not take into account unique features of infectious diseases that can affect the estimated value of interventions against them. These include their transmissibility from infected to susceptible individuals, the possibility of acquiring natural immunity following recovery from infection and the uncertainties that arise as a result of their complex natural history and epidemiology. Modellers conducting economic evaluations of infectious disease interventions need to know the main features of different types of infectious disease models, the situations in which they should be applied and the effects of model choices on the cost effectiveness of interventions.

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