What is the CEA Registry?

CEVR's goals in constructing and maintaining this database are threefold:

  • Identify society's best opportunities for targeting resources to improve health;
  • Assist policymakers in healthcare resource allocation decisions; and
  • Move the field towards the use of standardized methodology.

number of studies graph

The CEA Registry is a comprehensive database of 5,655 cost-utility analyses on a wide variety of diseases and treatments. The registry has made an impact in several areas:

  • Used as a data source for 50 peer-reviewed publications;
  • Used or cited in analyses performed by US Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the Institute of Medicine, the Medicare Payment Assessment Commission, academia, and industry;
  • Highlighted on the National Library of Medicine's website as an important health economics resource;
  • Cited in the popular press, including Forbes, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe; and
  • Catalogs information on over 14,500 cost-effectiveness ratios and more than 21,900 utility weights


  • Database Structure
  • Data Collection Process
  • Information Collected

Database Structure


Database Structure


The CEA Registry consists of three main files: Article, Ratio and Utility Weight.

  • Article file: contains one entry per article.
  • Ratio file: contains one or more ratio records per article.  Separate ratios are entered for every change in (1) population, (2) treatment, or (3) comparison reported by the article.
  • Utility Weight file: contains zero, one or more weight records per article.

Data Collection Process

The Registry summarizes and reviews published, original, English-language cost-utility analysis articles.  The articles undergo a rigorous screening and review process before being included in the Registry; this process is detailed below.

data collection process

Information Collected

The website contains the following information:

  • Article-Methods: publication information, intervention type, prevention stage, disease classification, study country, funding sources, analytic time frame, study perspective, discounting rate of costs and QALYs, cost-effectiveness threshold(s), types of sensitivity analyses used, and a subjective assessment about the overall quality of analysis.
  • Cost-Effectiveness Ratios: target population, intervention, comparator, and cost-effectiveness ratio value.
  • Utility Weights: the health state and corresponding utility weight value.


We have always envisioned the CEA Registry as a public good that could be easily accessible and useful to everyone, including policy makers, researchers, and health care consumers.  First funded by award of a grant from the National Science Foundations in 1976, the CEA Registry started with the goal of aggregating information from published cost-effectiveness analyses.  Since then, the CEA Registry has matured and recorded information from over 2,900 studies.  Growth in the CEA Registry has paralleled the growth of the field and the maturation of the Internet. 

In 2001, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) awarded a grant to Peter Neumann and his research team to update and expand the Registry and to make the data available online. 

In 2004, the National Library of Medicine awarded a grant to the research team to further improve the Registry to make it a searchable, online database with the goals to:

  • Provide public electronic access to a reliable, convenient, and up-to-date comprehensive database of cost-effectiveness ratios published in the literature, allowing comparisons to be made easily across different interventions and diseases;
  • Provide a convenient single source for researchers seeking “benchmark” information with which to compare findings in cost-effectiveness;
  • Serve as a “first-line” source for those seeking data on cost-effectiveness, in a much simpler and less time-consuming form than literature searches and contain more useful data in summarized form;
  • Serve as an ongoing source of information for those seeking to identify under-studied areas in the cost-effectiveness literature.

In the summer of 2010, the most recent updates of the CEA Registry were completed, providing a more visually appealing and easily searchable database.  These updates will continue to foster an online community of users of the database and serve as a unique source of information exchange among all users.

The table below highlights the current and previous phases of The Registry’s development.


Phase Contents (Articles Published) Funding Source
I 1976-1997 NSF
II 1998-2000 AHRQ
III 2002-2006 NLM
IV 2007-Present Grants and Organizational Subscribers