Other Public Policy

Jon Sussex was a keynote speaker at the Capita conference on competition in health care held in June, where the audience was primarily from the NHS. Jon’s presentation summarised the state of provider competition in the NHS to date as well as national and international evidence about the impact of competition on quality.

Cancer Research UK has recently released a report completed for it by OHE and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex that focuses on the strength and nature of interdependence in the funding of cancer research. As earlier OHE research has demonstrated, sources of funding for medical research—public, charity and private sector—are complementary in effect, not duplicative.

Alzheimer’s Research UK commissioned OHE Consulting to model the growing prevalence and costs of dementia in the UK and the impact that new treatments could have were they to be introduced from 2020.

OHE’s Jon Sussex is spoke today on the value of medical research at the 2013 BioWales conference, one of the UK’s largest life sciences conferences. Celebrating its eleventh year, this conference focuses on the links between NHS, industry and academia in delivering tomorrow’s health solutions. Jon’s presentation examined the value of medical research, which involves all three sectors in the UK: public, private and charity.

One of the greatest challenges in biomedical and health research is ensuring that research findings are translated effectively and without undue delay from ‘bench to bedside’. As previous analysis has made clear, the time that elapses between discoveries in medical research and adoption in practice is important. Longer time lags mean a lower rate of return on the research investment, which makes it less attractive to do the research in the first place.

Just released is a collection of essays by Prof Tony Culyer, a founding father of health economics whose life’s work has been to bring clarity to health care decision making. The Humble Economist, published jointly by the University of York and the Office of Health Economics, is a distillation of Prof Culyer’s most important writings on health, health care and social decision making.

Over the past four years, OHE has been involved in research intended to examine more thoroughly the economic value of medical research in the UK. Understanding and maximising the value includes consideration of both direct and indirect returns when deciding research policies. Taking account of spillovers is essential.

Increasingly, governments in the UK and throughout Europe see R&D driven growth as the best way out of the financial crisis. The Government identifies the 'UK’s world-class research base' as a key driver of economic growth. But does the evidence of returns from public investment in R&D match the rhetoric?

Just released is the new OHE Guide to UK Health and Health Care Statistics, which provides both reliable up-to-date statistics and a basic guide to finding and using health statistics for the UK and, to some extent, other OECD countries.

OHE is making available as Occasional Papers drafts of two important chapters that will appear in the Oxford Handbook on the Economics of the Pharmaceutical Industry due out in 2012. One on access to drugs and vaccines in developing countries and the other on measuring value with pharmacoeconomics.


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