OHE presents a series of lunchtime seminars throughout the year. The most recent seminar, held in late April, considered the influence of cost-effectiveness and other factors on NICE decisions.

OHE’s Prof Nancy Devlin presented at two key workshops held for researchers and HTA policy makers from across Asia. The workshops were organised by Prof Nan Luo, National University of Singapore, in collaboration with the EuroQol Group.

Just out in the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care is an important new study that reviews appraisals of breast cancer and colorectal cancer medicines by HTA agencies in a selection of industrialised countries: Australia, Canada, France, Scotland, and the United Kingdom (England and Wales). The aims of the study are to identify the key determinants of decisions and understand the similarities and differences in the requirements of the five agencies.

The OHE has been very active in conceptualising approaches incorporating a broader assessment of the elements of value (often called "value based pricing" or "VBP"), as its publications to date illustrate. During the last quarter of 2012, OHE has been active in discussions of VBP in a variety of forums.

In 2009, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued supplementary advice that its Appraisal Committees are to consider when assessing treatments that extend life at the end of life. The policy places additional weight on the survival benefits for a small numbers of patients with terminal illnesses and short life expectancies. It assumes that this accurately reflects the preferences of the general public. However, little scientific evidence is available to support that premise.

HTAinSiteImagine being able to find, in ONE minute or less, which NICE Technology Assessments (TAs) make specific reference to QALY thresholds of £20,000 or £30,000, for example, or to risk sharing, or patient access schemes. This is possible using HTAinSite -- a unique resource of information on NICE Technology Appraisal decisions and the evidence used to support them.

Now out as a “FirstView” article in Health Economics, Policy and Law is an important analysis on the inclusion of social value judgments in NICE guidance, co-authored by OHE’s Koonal Shah with Richard Cookson and Tony Culyer of CHE, and Peter Littlejohns of King’s College.

The Daily Mail front page article of 16 May 2012, ‘New cancer drugs held up by the NHS for nine years’ purports to draw, as its source, from a report by the Office of Health Economics. The Daily Mail article is misleading and inaccurate in several key respects, and misrepresents the purpose and results of our study. Our report, Time Trends in NICE HTA Decisions, was published in January 2012.

Every year, OHE sponsors a lecture by an eminent economist or clinician that addresses an important current issue.

OHE's Dr Jorge Mestre-Ferrandiz is a visiting lecturer in the Department of Economics at City University London. As part of his 2012 activities, he recently gave a comprehensive lecture on the economics of the market for medicines in the UK.


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