Cost Effectiveness of Needle and Syringe Programs
"It was estimated that:
" For every one dollar invested in NSPs, more than four dollars were returned (additional to the investment) in healthcare cost-savings in the short-term (ten years) if only direct costs are included; greater returns are expected over longer time horizons.
" NSPs were found to be cost-saving over 2000-2009 in seven of eight jurisdictions and cost-effective in the other jurisdiction. Over the longer term, NSPs are highly cost saving in all jurisdictions.
" The majority of the cost savings were found to be associated with HCV-related outcomes. However, when only HIV-related outcomes were considered in the analysis, it cost $4,500 per DALY gained associated with HIV infection.
" If patient/client costs and productivity gains and losses are included in the analysis, then the net present value of NSPs is $5.85bn; that is, for every one dollar invested in NSPs (2000-2009), $27 is returned in cost savings. This return increases considerably over a longer time horizon.
" NSPs are very cost-effective compared to other common public health interventions, such as vaccinations (median cost per QALY of $58,000), allied health, lifestyle, and in-patient interventions (median cost of $9,000 per DALY gained), and interventions addressing diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance or alcohol and drug dependence (median cost of $3,700 per DALY gained)."
National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (2009). Return on investment 2: Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of needle and syringe programs in Australia 2009. The University of New South Wales, Sydney, pp. 8-9.