Return on investment 2: evaluating the cost-effectiveness of needle and syringe programs in Australia 2009

Economic evaluation of NSPs in the Northern Territory

Page last updated: 2009

The spending of $5.2m in the funding of NSPs in Northern Territory from year 2000-2009 has resulted in a saving of $4.2m in healthcare costs, with more than 835 Disability Adjusted Life Years with a net financial cost of $999,000, a cost of just over $1,000 per DALY gained. A summary of the return on investment of NSP funding in the NT is shown in Table 22. The mathematical and economic modelling estimated that if NSPs are continued at the same level of funding in the Northern Territory for the next ten years, $329,000 of net financial savings will accrue ($199,139 discounted at 3%) and for twenty years $3.8m ($2.4m discounted at 3%). The lifetime net present value of investment in NSPs that took account of all healthcare costs and savings (but not costs associated with productivity losses) would be $32m ($11.4m discounted at 3%).

Table 22: Return on Investment of NSP funding in the Northern Territory (2000-2009)

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Healthcare costs saved $m (IQR)
0.66
(0.59-0.72)
0.45
(0.40-0.53)
0.42
(0.37-0.48)
0.40
(0.36-0.46)
0.39
(0.34-0.44)
0.37
(0.33-0.42)
0.36
(0.32-0.41)
0.36
(0.32-0.40)
0.39
(0.35-0.44)
0.44
(0.39-0.48)
NSP funding $m (median)
0.38
0.44
0.44
0.49
0.54
0.65
0.54
0.58
0.58
0.58
Net cost savings $m (median)
0.28
0.01
-0.02
-0.09
-0.15
-0.28
-0.18
-0.22
-0.20
-0.14
DALY gain (median)
102
103
98
92
85
80
74
70
66
65

Please note that any inconsistencies between the figures presented in the above text and table are due to rounding. Additionally, the results for each jurisdiction are provided to assist in assessment of local return on investment. The small numbers in some jurisdictions may distort parameter uncertainties and should not be used to compare one jurisdiction with another.

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