Local decision-making

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What is e-Learning?

e-Learning refers to any education supported by the use of information and communication technology. On these pages you will find a variety of NPC resources designed to cater for your preferred e-learning style.

Health economics:
These resources provide an introduction to health economics and the efficient use of healthcare resources in relation to medicines. They are intended for local decision-makers. In addition, they will be of relevance...

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Suggested ways to use these materials:

What are these resources about?

These resources provide an introduction to health economics and the efficient use of healthcare resources in relation to medicines. They are intended for local decision makers. In addition, they will be of relevance generally to other NHS groups and individuals; for example, commissioners, PCT boards, clinicians, provider trusts, clinical networks and specialised commissioning groups.

Who produced these resources?

The resources were produced by the NPC in collaboration with Dyfrig Hughes, Reader in health economics at Bangor University.

What will these resources help me to do?

Working through the resources on this site should help you to:

• Explain what is meant by key health economic terms such as ‘LYG’, ‘QALY’ and ‘ICER’, and apply that understanding to decision-making scenarios

• Describe what considerations are involved in different economic analyses

• Explain some of the considerations used by NICE in its decision-making processes

• Reflect on some of the applications of economic evaluations for local decision-makers.

Links to all the resources are listed in the menu to the left. Suggested ways to use the resources on this floor The resources are designed to be used either independently of each other, or in combination. Here are some suggestions:

• If you are new to the topic or are not very familiar with it, try listening to the first section of the recorded e-learning event or reading the eductional support document Health Economics: an essential tool for decision–makers. You can then either check your understanding with the quiz or practise applying it with the case study

• To check your understanding of the topic, try the quiz. This may help you identify your learning needs in this area

• To review how the health economic evidence might be applied to a fictional but realistic local decision-making setting, try the case study. This option is likely to be particularly of interest to people who like learning in context

• For a worked example to see how the theoretical aspects of economic analysis have been applied in an economic analysis conducted for NICE, listen to the second part of the recorded e-learning event

• If you want to explain the key messages to colleagues, the key slides and notes may be useful: you can download the slides and use them as a PowerPoint presentation or as a printed detail aid. Printing off a copy of the eductional support document Health Economics: an essential tool for decision–makers on this topic may be useful.

Other NPC resources you may find useful

For more information on managing therapeutic information overload see the Evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) e-learning materials available on our site. EIDM1 – Overview outlines the principles of information mastery. The EIDM2 – Dealing with information overload materials look at the essential skills required to make sense of key terms used in therapeutics, such as relative risk, number needed to treat, etc.

Other general resources you may find useful

For further information you may find the resources below useful
1. Pharmacoeconomics: NICE’s approach to decision-making. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2010 doi: 10.1111/1365-2125.2009.03589.x
2. The Economics of Health, Dr Sarah Garner, Plus Magazine Online, (viewed 28/06/2010)

Please give us feedback

These e-learning resource will be reviewed and updated at regular intervals to ensure that it is still relevant, and reflects current practice in the NHS. If you have used this resource, and have comments or suggestions either about the content, or ideas for how we might improve and build on them, please use our feedback form.


The information in this resource is provided to guide NHS organisations. It is provided without any assumption of liability to any individual, company or organisation. These issues are complex and sensitive. All NHS organisations and individuals should seek their own legal advice for specific issues and not to rely on this material. Neither the NPC nor any individual who has been concerned with the preparation of this material accepts any liability to any person, company or organisation which seeks to rely on the information provided.


An interactive way to check your understanding of the key points and identify your learning needs. Fully referenced answers are provided.

Less than 60 minute e-learning events

Hot-synch your brain by watching and listening to a short workshop on a key topic, all in less than 60 minutes.

Case studies (click on the left hand menu)

Fictional but representative ‘real world’ scenarios where you can check and apply your understanding of the topic. You can compare your answers with our fully referenced suggested model answers.

Key slides

These slides and notes help you explain key messages and discuss important therapeutic issues with colleagues.