A Cost-Benefit/Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Proposed Supervised Injection Facilities in Ottawa, Canada

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 2014, 9:31  doi:10.1186/1747-597X-9-31

Date created: 
2014
Keywords: 
Supervised injection facilities
HIV
HCV
Abstract: 

Background

Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) are venues where people who inject drugs (PWID) have access to a clean and medically supervised environment in which they can safely inject their own illicit drugs. There is currently only one legal SIF in North America: Insite in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The responses and feedback generated by the evaluations of Insite in Vancouver have been overwhelmingly positive. This study assesses whether the above mentioned facility in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver needs to be expanded to other locations, more specifically that of Canada’s capital city, Ottawa.

Methods

The current study is aimed at contributing to the existing literature on health policy by conducting cost-benefit and cost-effective analyses for the opening of SIFs in Ottawa, Ontario. In particular, the costs of operating numerous SIFs in Ottawa was compared to the savings incurred; this was done after accounting for the prevention of new HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) infections. To ensure accuracy, two distinct mathematical models and a sensitivity analysis were employed.

Results

The sensitivity analyses conducted with the models reveals the potential for SIFs in Ottawa to be a fiscally responsible harm reduction strategy for the prevention of HCV cases – when considered independently. With a baseline sharing rate of 19%, the cumulative annual cost model supported the establishment of two SIFs and the marginal annual cost model supported the establishment of a single SIF. More often, the prevention of HIV or HCV alone were not sufficient to justify the establishment cost-effectiveness; rather, only when both HIV and HCV are considered does sufficient economic support became apparent.

Conclusions

Funded supervised injection facilities in Ottawa appear to be an efficient and effective use of financial resources in the public health domain.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
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