Disease control programme support costs: An update of WHO-CHOICE methodology, price databases and quantity assumptions

Melanie Y. Bertram, Karin Stenberg, Callum Brindley, Jina Li, Juliana Serje, Rory Watts, Tessa Tan Torres Edejer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: Estimating health care costs, either in the context of understanding resource utilization in the implementation of a health plan, or in the context of economic evaluation, has become a common activity of health planners, health technology assessment agencies and academic groups. However, data sources for costs outside of direct service delivery are often scarce. WHO-CHOICE produces global price databases and guidance on quantity assumptions to support country level costing exercises. This paper presents updates to the WHO-CHOICE methodology and price databases for programme costs. Methods: We collated publicly available databases for 14 non-traded cost variables, as well as a set of traded items used within health systems (traded goods are those which can be purchased from anywhere in the world, whereas non-traded goods are those which must be produced locally, such as human resources). Within each of the variables, missing data was present for some proportion of the WHO member states. For each variables statistical or econometric models were used to model prices for each of the 194 WHO member states in 2010 International Dollars. Literature reviews were used to update quantity assumptions associated with each variable to contribute to the support costs of disease control programmes. Results: A full database of prices for disease control programme support costs is available for country-specific costing purposes. Human resources are the largest driver of disease control programme support costs, followed by supervision costs. Conclusions: Despite major advances in the availability of data since the previous version of this work, there are still some limitations in data availability to respond to the needs of those wishing to develop cost and cost-effectiveness estimates. Greater attention to programme support costs in cost data collection activities would contribute to an understanding of how these costs contribute to quality of health service delivery and should be encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalCost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Disease control programme support costs: An update of WHO-CHOICE methodology, price databases and quantity assumptions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this