Escalating medical costs have made it increasingly important to carry out economic evaluations of drug therapy. In the area of acid-related diseases, much of the current interest is focused on comparisons between omeprazole and H2 receptor antagonists. After having discussed the basic methodology used in these analyses, viz. the decision-tree analysis, this paper presents an extension of this methodology, the Markov chain approach, which is more appropriate for analyses of longer time periods. Thereafter, this methodology is used to analyze the cost-effectiveness of omeprazole in intermittent versus maintenance treatment of reflux esophagitis. The cost data are from Sweden and the time period studied is one year. It is found that maintenance treatment provides 63 more healthy days per year at an extra direct cost of SEK 40 per day. From a sensitivity analysis it is concluded that the cost-effectiveness of intermittent versus maintenance treatment is mainly determined by the probability of relapse when off treatment, the severity of the symptoms in the case of a relapse and the value to the patient of a healthy day, i.e. a day free from reflux esophagitis.