Research


Adrian Towse, Nancy Devlin, Jon SussexThe OHE Research programme stimulates discussion and debate about critical issues in health economics and health care policy at the UK, European and international levels.

Although specifics vary over time, OHE research falls into three categories: the financing and delivery of health care, health technology assessment methods and processes, and the economics of the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries.

Activities include undertaking original research on a range of topics, as well as seminars and workshops, publications, and expert commissions.  Publications may be downloaded from this site free of charge by registered users.  The team's external activities are reported in OHE News.

The focus of some of OHE's current programme appears in the Highlights tab below.  For more detail on a select subset of current OHE research projects, please see the Featured Projects tab.

Financing, Organisation and Delivery of Health Care

Achieving productivity and efficiency in health care depends on policies that are based on solid evidence and that take full account of the needs of patients, whom health care is intended to benefit. Key OHE projects include research and analysis of options for value based pricing (VBP) for pharmaceuticals, patient reported outcome measures (PROMs), productivity in the NHS, and competition in the NHS.  The report of the 2011 OHE Commission on Competition in the NHS was released in 2012 and is available for download here.

Health Technology Assessment Methods and Processes

Health technology assessment, or HTA, is intended to assist policy makers in determining which health expenditures offer the greatest value. The OHE has a variety of projects underway on HTA and has recently published a thorough analysis of multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA), applicable in any country. Research focused primarily on the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the NHS includes, for example: how best to capture patients’ preferences using the EQ-5D instruments and time-trade off (TTO) methods; and how NICE makes decisions and how those decisions affect access to health care.

With City University London and Abacus International, OHE has created HTAinSite, a comprehensive database of decisions taken by NICE since its inception in 1999.

Economics of the Pharmaceutical and Life Science Industries

Private industry plays an essential role in innovation in all aspects of health care, interacting with both public- and charity-funded research sectors to realise the benefits of innovation worldwide. OHE’s recent research has included, for example, analysis of how best to stimulate R&D for new antimicrobials and for orphan/neglected diseaseas, in both developed and the developing countries, and ensure access to needed new medicines in the latter. The effects of pricing and reimbursement on innovation remains a core area of research.