Use of the Term Cost Effective

Anne Ludbrook, Marianne C. Fahs, Peter M. Doubilet, Milton C. Weinstein, Barbara J. McNeil

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


To the Editor: Although it was welcome, the Occasional Notes article on the misuse of the term “cost effective” (Jan. 23 issue)* has to some extent added to the confusion by presenting a definition different from that commonly applied by economists, at least on this side of the Atlantic. The authors rightly criticize the use of the term to mean either “cost saving” or “effective.” In their subsequent argument, however, they fail to distinguish between two forms of economic evaluation: cost-effectiveness analysis and cost–benefit analysis. The distinction that economists draw between these relates directly to definitions 3 and 4 as…

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1645-1646
Number of pages2
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 1986


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