This month’s CaHRU/LIH Improvement Science and Research Methods seminar was presented by Dr. Murray Smith, senior research fellow in econometrics and health economics based in CaHRU on 28 November 2017. His topic was a general introduction to health technology assessment, with the overall aim of seeking to establish whether or not a new health technology is cost effective relative to its comparator.
Murray gave a backround to the principles of health economics and the main approaches to evaluation including cost minimisation, cost effectiveness, cost utility and cost benefit analysis. He described the concept of the incremental economic analysis, demonstrated how to calculate an incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) and described the role that incremental economic methods provide in helping to answer the question of whether or not a new treatment is cost effective relative existing health technologies.
In the second half of the presentation, Murray gave examples of assessments undertaken by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the UK health assessment agency, contrasting their regulatory decisions arrived at through cost effectiveness considerations with other management approaches taken by key stakeholder agencies such as NHS England and the now defunct Cancer Drugs Fund.
By Dr. Murray Smith