Evaluating the Use of Cost Per QALY in the US Health Care System

ACPE UAN #:  0233-0000-17-021-H04-P

Release Date: March 28, 2017

Expiration Date:  March 28, 2020

Activity Type:    Knowledge-based

Contact Hours:  1.25

Activity Fee:  Member:  $15        Non-Member: $30

Target Audience: Pharmacists who practice in managed care settings.

Activity Overview

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) is an objective methodology that uses evidence-based medicine to allow decision-makers to make the best choices for patients. Cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) is considered the gold standard outcome measure of cost-effectiveness by some stakeholders. In fact, the QALY has been endorsed by health care leaders, such as the US Public Health Service Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine, as an appropriate reference (base) case. Payers, however, still face some uncertainties and challenges with the QALY. 

This session will discuss the role and evidence for the QALY in CEA.  In addition, this session will discuss how payers can evaluate and decide on CEA thresholds. Alternatives to the QALY will also be discussed. 

Learning Objectives:  

At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

1. Explain basic principles of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA).

2. Discuss the challenges and opportunities in using quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) as cost-effectiveness metric to manage population health.

3. Discuss how payers can evaluate the evidence on using alternative cost-effectiveness metrics.

4. Discuss appropriate CEA thresholds.

Schedule of Educational Activity

This activity consists of an audio recording, pre-test assessment questions (not required to pass or continue), post-test questions (required to pass with a score of 70% or higher) and a specific activity evaluation. 

CPE Requirements:   

Participants should claim continuing pharmacy education (CPE) credit for this home study activity only if they have not claimed credit for the live activity presented at the AMCP Annual Meeting 2017. 

CPE credit will be processed through the AMCP Learn portal and reported directly to CPE Monitor.  Please allow 72 hours for processing and posting in your NABP account. 

To receive credit for an online activity you must:

  •  Review the full content of the activity.
  •  Successfully complete the post-test (required to pass with a score of 70% or higher, it may be taken a maximum of three times).
  •  Complete a specific activity evaluation.

System Technical Requirements/Viewing Requirements: System Requirements Courses and learning activities are delivered via your Web browser and Acrobat PDF. For all activities, you should have a basic comfort level using a computer and navigating web sites.  View the minimum technical and system requirements for continuing education online learning activities.

As an accredited provider, AMCP strictly adheres to the ACPE Standards for Commercial Support and other relevant guidelines and standards to ensure the independence of continuing pharmacy education (CPE) activities.  It is AMCP’s intent that all CPE activities be independent, objective, balanced, evidence-based and free of any commercial bias.


Sandra L. Chase, BS, PharmD, FCCP | Senior Cardio-Renal Medical Science Liaison | Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. | Three Rivers, Michigan

Credit Information

Activity Number Credit Amount Accreditation Period
ACPE UAN #0233-0000-17-021-H04-P 1.25 Contact Hours March 28, 2017 - March 28, 2020