→Selection of alternatives
When comparing two treatments it should clearly be stated why the alternative was chosen, furthermore the alternative should either be the most widely used treatment or the treatment that provides best cost effectiveness. If current common practice is "doing nothing" then a comparison with placebo should be conducted as it may open up the possibility of comparing the study with other studies that used placebo as comparator.<br>
The chosen alternatives should be described in sufficient detail to provide the reader with enough information to relate the information on costs and outcomes to the alternative courses of action. In addition, the chosen alternative must be designed to help to get as close a measure as possible of the [[Glossary#opportunity_cost|opportunity cost]] of the new treatment.<ref>
Drummond MF, Jefferson TO. BMJ. 1996 Aug 3;313(7052): 275-83.</ref> [[Glossary#decision_trees|Decision trees]] or other [[Glossary#decision_analytic_techniques|decision analytic techniques]] can help the reader to follow the paths the treatments might take and provide them with information about costs and outcomes associated with each path. Information about probabilities, cost, and outcomes linked to paths of each treatment will help the reader to make their own decisions about each treatment.