Cost-Effectiveness and Affordability of Interventions, Policies, and Platforms for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental, Neurological and Substance Use Disorders

Authors: Carol Levin, Dan Chisholm


This chapter reviews the available evidence concerning the cost and cost-effectiveness of interventions for the protection, prevention, and treatment of mental, neurological, and substance abuse disorders. Economic evidence is most available for the treatment of specific disorders, such as epilepsy, depression, and schizophrenia. The evidence shows that, depending on the particular context and content of interventions, annual treatment costs range between US$100 to $US$750 per case (or US$0.10 to US$1.00 per head of population); cost-effectiveness ranges between US$100 and US$2,500 per healthy life year gained. Population-based or community-level strategies, such as demand reduction measures for harmful alcohol use and school-based social emotional learning programs, are  less costly to implement (US$0.30 per person or less); where established, their cost-effectiveness is similar to the more efficient care and treatment strategies.