Introduction to the Economic Evaluation of Healthcare Interventions

Course 2


20 – 23 January 2025


Dr. Mark Pletscher
Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland

Niklaus Meier
Institute of Health Economics and Health Policy, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland

Prof. Georgia Salanti
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland


CH – 3823 Wengen | tba

Course description

Economic evaluations of healthcare interventions are essential tools for informing reimbursement decisions, healthcare policy and treatment guidelines. The goal of economic evaluations is to measure and compare costs and health effects of alternative uses of limited resources to support reimbursement and policy decisions.
This course aims to give an introduction into the basic concepts of economic evaluation with a focus on cost-effectiveness analysis. We will introduce the key principles and results of cost-effectiveness analysis and show how such evidence can be used in funding decisions. The course will cover important methodological aspects of the design and implementation of cost-effectiveness studies with a strong focus on model-based cost-effectiveness analysis. The theoretical concepts will be applied in practical tutorials in R.
Participants do not need prior experience in economic evaluation or clinical research, but a solid understanding of basic statistical concepts and general methods for the clinical evaluation of health care interventions is expected. The practical sessions require previous experience with R.

Course objectives

By the end of our course, participants will:
• Understand the basic principles of cost-effectiveness analysis and resource allocation decision making under uncertainty.
• Understand the evidence requirements for informing resource allocation decisions in health care.
• Be able to implement simple cost-effectiveness analyses in R.

Course audience

Researchers in health sciences, as well as decision-makers from public, commercial, and academic organizations, who need to conduct cost-effectiveness analyses in healthcare or want to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges health economists encounter in these analyses.

Course outline

The course runs over three days and consists of lectures, group work, and computer practical sessions.
We start early in the morning by reviewing the previous day. During extended afternoon breaks, participants review course materials, catch up on email, or ski. We reconvene at 4:30 pm for practical sessions.

Monday, 20 January 8:15 am – 12:15 pm | 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
• Introduction to economic evaluation: Resource allocation in health care, types of economic evaluations, methodological aspects of economic evaluations.
• Introduction to cost-effectiveness analysis: Concepts of cost-effectiveness analysis, decision making based on cost-effectiveness analysis, willingness to pay thresholds.
• Computer practical: Basic concepts of cost-effectiveness modelling in MS Excel.

Tuesday, 21 January 8:15 am – 12:15 pm | 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
• Introduction to cost-effectiveness modelling: Overview of Decision trees, Markov models, and parametric survival models, introduction of basic concepts of cost-effectiveness modelling.
• Handling uncertainty in cost-effectiveness analysis: Probabilistic sensitivity analysis, sensitivity analyses, decision making under uncertainty
• Computer practical: Cost-effectiveness modelling in R.

Wednesday, 22 January 8:15 am – 12:15 pm | 1:15 pm – 3:15 pm
• Estimation of clinical input parameters: Methods for estimating Markov transition probabilities (observed rates, multinomial logit, multistate models), parametric survival analysis, reporting of results for probabilistic analyses.
• Use of indirect treatment comparisons in economic models: Basic concepts of indirect treatment comparisons, overview of methods for indirect treatment comparisons, implementation of outputs from indirect treatment comparisons in economic models,
• Computer practical: Estimation of transition probabilities and parametric survival models in R.


1.0 ECTS

Course materials

Bring a portable computer with the latest versions of MS Excel, R and Rstudio installed.
We strongly recommend only bringing computers you have administration rights for to the course.

Onsite University of Bern IT staff provides support upon e-mail () request.

We recommend the following book for further reading.
Edlin, R., McCabe, C., Hulme, C., Hall, P., & Wright, J. (2015). Cost effectiveness modelling for health technology assessment: a practical course (No. 12404). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Course fee

PhD Bern: CHF 600
PhD other: CHF 800
Academic: CHF 1000
Industry: CHF 2000


The pre-registration starts 26 August 12:00 pm until 1 September 12:00 am.
The open registration starts some time in September, the exact date will be communicated. Go to registration


Book your accommodation separately. Please see recommendations for special prices.