Economic aspects of prevention: an international perspective (in German)
DOI : 10.1055/s-0029-1239569
This article provides an overview of selected economic aspects of primary prevention, from an international perspective. It starts by qualifying two widely held myths about the economics of prevention. It then discusses two core components of the economic argument for (or against) prevention: first, this involves providing a very basic, efficiency-based rationale for a role of government in prevention; second, we review the existing evidence on the cost-effectiveness of primary prevention. While a fair amount of encouraging evidence exists, there has definitely been far more cost-effectiveness research on clinical than on non-clinical primary prevention (e. g., health promotion). The article seeks to explain this comparative shortage, which carries over to pure effectiveness research on prevention. It concludes by arguing the economic case for a role of government not only in prevention but also, and even more so, in research on non-clinical prevention.