Prevention of the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome in Australia: A cost-benefit analysis

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8 Scopus citations


The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recently has recommended that thiamin be added to cask and flagon wines, fortified wines, beer and flour. This paper presents a cost-benefit analysis of the fortification of alcoholic beverages with thiamin. A total cost-saving in present-value terms of between $60 million and $600 million in 1985 Australian dollars has been calculated. Considerable methodological problems are associated with this type of analysis, and these are discussed. However, the cost-benefit ratio under a range of plausible assumptions remains extremely high - in the region of six to one to 30 to one, or even higher. The methods that are used are compared with those of a 1978 US study, which is appraised critically. The fortification programme that was recommended by the NHMRC is supported strongly on economic grounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-317
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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