Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 1516-4446
MORAES, Edilaine et al. Introductory concepts of health economics and the social impact of the alcohol misuse. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2006, vol.28, n.4, pp. 321-325. Epub Oct 18, 2006. ISSN 1516-4446. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462006005000011.
Brazilian society bears high economic costs in view of the problems resulting from the alcohol consumption. There is a lack of economic studies into alcohol misuse or dependence in Brazil due to the limited financial resources, despite the huge health problems the country has been facing. This paper aims to introduce basic concepts of Heath Economics to health care practitioners, such as: Complete and Incomplete Economic Evaluation, Disease Costs, Cost Comparison, Types of Evaluation (cost-minimisation, cost-effectiveness, cost-utility, and cost-benefice), Point of View Analysis (from patient, health institution, Ministry of Health, or society), Types of Costs (direct, indirect and intangible), and other ones. In addition, research data on the impact of the alcohol consumption on the Brazilian society is described. We do not intend to exhaust the subjects addressed in this paper, but emphasise the need for more national researches that link the economic evaluation to the alcohol addiction issue in order to seek maximum efficiency by maximising the health care and minimising the scarce health system resources.
Keywords : Health economics; Public policy; Substance related disorders; Alcoholism.