The Centers for Disease Control rely on economics in order to holistically examine costs, benefits, and consequences (present and future social impact) of both prevention and intervention strategies. Resources are needed in order to address the prevalence of a disease and a disease's overall social impact. Public Health agencies must continually budget funds for prevention and intervention. This means they need resources for public education and treatment programs as well as funds to aid in affecting program and policy changes and ongoing research of any given social health problem. As a result, health economics has emerged as a subfield of the economics discipline, (Drummond, et al., 1997; Ervin, 2005).
Today, specific health goals can now be addressed. Health economics has allowed for the development of specific goals and the development of varied approaches based on populations. One such example is the development of treatment options for the sexually transmitted disease, Chlamydia. Due to resources made available to public health agencies, the drug of choice for treatment was changed. Yes, the original drug was less costly as a stand alone drug for individual cases. However, when this was addressed as a widespread population problem and treated as such, it turned this new drug being used into a cost saving widespread effort. The overall net cost was lower. This was used to help advocate for an overall less expensive charge for the drug to clinics. There are numerous examples that can be found to support how funding allows for greater public health service to all, particularly with respect to sexually transmitted diseases. Public School programs all the way through clinical treatment centers have benefitted from finely tuned work examining the costs and benefits of allocating resources via needs, policy, program, and social impact analyses. Such research has also had a tremendous impact on one of the largest sexually transmitted diseases to date, HIV/AIDS, (Drummond, et al.