Consortium to Assess Prevention Economics

The Consortium to Assess Prevention Economics (CAPE) is a multimillion-dollar, five-year cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UCSF, Harvard, Emory and Johns Hopkins. It aims to improve policy-relevant economic modeling of disease prevention in five areas: HIV, hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections (STI), tuberculosis(TB), and school health.

The UCSF team, led by IGHS faculty members James G. Kahn, MD, MPH, and Paul Volberding, MD, is a multi-institution consortium with 39 investigators from Stanford, UC Berkeley, California Department of Public Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health, California Department of Finance, and Department of Homeland Security. Jonathan Mermin, MD oversees CAPE’s work on behalf of the CDC.

Every year, millions of Americans are infected with HIV, viral hepatitis, STDs, or TB, and tens of thousands die from these infections. Because these diseases share modes of transmission and demographic, social, and economic conditions that increase risk, CAPE focuses much of its efforts on assessing cross-cutting and potentially high impact prevention and control efforts. It employs cost and cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-benefit analysis, return-on-investment calculations and other modeling approaches to answer such questions as, “What is the most efficient set of outreach and screening efforts to reduce the incidence of TB? How does this vary by risk populations? What would it cost to implement a nationwide hepatitis B elimination program?”

“We are looking at five different health areas, using a range of economic methods – this breadth is very unusual for an economics project,” said Kahn. “We are also excited about collaborating with colleagues in the Bay Area and throughout California.”

The project advances the UCSF Global Health Sciences vision for research that crosses and links disease areas, and that integrates economics with basic and applied science. While CAPE’s geographic focus is primarily for the United States, CAPE has expanded to international migration work. The team anticipates that modeling methods and tools can be adapted to global settings, using local data on population and disease characteristics.

CAPE is the largest award arising from the UCSF Global Health Economic Consortium, established in 2013.

Questions about the program should be directed to Operations Director, Devon McCabe.