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Prof Tony Blakely: “Modelling health gain and cost (savings) from prevention”

23rd June 2015 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


All are invited to the CEDAR / MRC Epidemiology Unit Seminar:Tony Blakely

Modelling health gain and cost (savings) from prevention: tobacco tax and food taxes and subsidies

Prof Tony Blakely, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand

Tuesday June 23 2015, 12:30-13:30
MRC Epidemiology Unit Meeting rooms, Level 3, Institute of Metabolic Sciences, Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre (ATC). Direction to Addenbrooke’s Hospital here and look for ‘ATC’ in the bottom left of this map.About the talk
Does tobacco tax gain health, reduce health inequalities and save costs in the health system?  And how far into the future do these gains and savings occur?Do food taxes and subsidies gain health and save costs?  And how reliable is such modelling?This address these questions, presenting results from a tobacco tax multistate lifetable model, and presenting preliminary findings – and in particular methodological challenges – for modelling food taxes and subsidies.  The presentation will be of interest to:

  • Those with a substantive interest in policy impacts.
  • Epidemiologists, economist and modelers with an interest in ‘how do I model it?’


Tobacco tax: example of resultsFor a scenario of 10% tax increases per annum from 2011 to 2031:

  • Will health gains be large?
    • Yes and possibly. Yes, in that 260,000 QALYs (95% UI: 155,000 – 419,000) are estimated to be gained over the reminder of the 2011 population’s remaining life. Possibly, in that this tax ‘only’ secures 17% of all possible health gain from getting rid of tobacco completely.
  • Will health inequalities between Māori and non-Māori decrease?
    • Yes – modestly. Differences in mortality rates might decrease by about 2%.
  • Will there be cost savings to the health system?
    • About NZ$2.5 billion (95% UI: $1.5 to $4.0 billion) over the remainder of the 2011 population’s life.
  • How long does it take for the health gains and cost savings to accrue?
    • Immediately, but they actually take 50 years or so to peak.  This is due to tax affecting younger people more, who are still decades away from their NCDs.


About Professor Blakely
Professor Tony Blakely is an epidemiologist at the University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand. He directs the Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness programme (BODE3). He has a strong interest in epidemiological methods, and policy engagement. Read more here.


23rd June 2015
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Categories:


CEDAR/MRC Epidemiology


Meeting rooms, Level 3, WT MRC IMS ATC
Robinson Way
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 0QQ United Kingdom
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