Developing a costing methodology and a database of unit costs

  • To develop a costing methodology and methodological recommendations for computing homogeneous unit costs across EU countries, that in the long-term, can evolve into a common European costing methodology for economic evaluation.

  • To generate a minimum common dataset of health care costs (i.e. health-care services and goods/products) for EU countries

  • Cost concepts will be clearly defined in order to ensure inter-country comparability.

  • A costing methodology will be developed based on a literature review, the adaptation and synthesis of existing methodologies and a posterior process of discussion and consensus

  • A search of existing health cost databases and sources of data will be carried out.

  • Appropriate data sources will be identified and costs will be collected and integrated in a common EU direct cost database for economic evaluation of health interventions. The selection of data will be made by validating and adjusting existing available data with the agreed costing methodology. 


The common costing methodology and the direct cost database will allow:

  • To make it feasible and more efficient to carry out multi-country studies in the EU

  • To facilitate the transfer and reutilization of economic evaluation models and analyses across EU countries

  • To allow the comparison of health care costs and to identify the factors that account for variations across EU countries.

  • A secondary application of the unit costs dataset will be to enable analysts to understand and explain variations in costs within and across countries. 

  • European Healthcare and Social Cost Database (EU HCCD)

The EU HCCD provides a core dataset of costs across countries. It allows analysis of variations in costs within/across countries (taking into account differences between healthcare systems and other factors) and health economic evaluations (by transfer of economic evaluation analysis and models across countries). Additionally, it facilitates multi-country studies and the adaptation of economic evaluation studies from country to country by reducing the time/costs of finding healthcare costs.


Access the database HERE.

  • Špacírová Z, Epstein D, García-Mochón L et al. (2020) A general framework for classifying costing methods for economic evaluation of health care. European Journal of Health Economics 21, 529–542 []

  • Adjusting costs for inflation in economic evaluations of healthcare – Poster [PDF]

  • Guidelines for Cost Definitions and Harmonization of Cost-Accounting Methodologies for Economic Evaluation – Report [PDF]

  • List of standard unit costs [XLSX]

  • Work Package Overall Results – Poster [PDF]


Escuela Andaluza de Salud Publica SA

Principal Investigator

Jaime Espín