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The cost-effectiveness of family planning service provision

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BACKGROUND: Family planning services are amongst the most highly utilized services in the National Health Service. There have, however, been few empirical studies of the costeffectiveness of these services. METHODS: Two measures of output were used to calculate the cost-effectiveness of family planning services. The first measure is based on the number of pregnancies averted. The second measure uses the couple year of protection as the measure of output. Accordingly, two cost-effectiveness ratios are calculated: cost per pregnancy averted and cost per couple year of protection. RESULTS: The direct cost per pregnancy averted is between £48 and £167 for reversible and £18 and £21 for non-reversible methods. The cost per couple year of protection is between £49 and £184 for reversible and £17 and £21 for non-reversible methods. For both approaches, if averted NHS costs associated with family planning services are included these translate into resource savings to the NHS resulting from the provision of these services. CONCLUSION: From the perspective adopted in this study, family planning services are highly cost-effective. According to calculations made in this paper, these services provide a high rate of return to the NHS and, when the resource consequences of unplanned pregnancies in the health sector as a whole are considered, result in resource savings.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22758/

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