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The need for social distancing in light of COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented increase in reliance on digital technologies by both health care providers and patients. While the trend towards digitalisation of health care allows for potential improvements in access, its impact on health outcomes and health inequalities must be carefully considered to ensure they contribute to social welfare and not detract from it.

Research by OHE and the University of Washington into how uncertainty-related novel elements of value could be included in an Augmented Cost-Effectiveness Analysis has been published in Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy (JMCP). The research discusses what has been or could be done to measure these elements and looks at empirical research to date.

A COVID-19 vaccine is needed now, but timelines (12-18 months) create large market risk. By the time a vaccine is ready, the crisis may have passed. A CGD Note explores three options: business as usual – which may lead to promotion of an inferior vaccine or fierce country competition for supply – and two models (cost- or value-based), with countries pre-committing to purchases meeting specified efficacy. The authors prefer a value-based model.

This presentation to the Australian Society for Antimicrobials (ASA) meeting in Melbourne, on 27th February 2020 draws on OHE research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, on adapting HTA methods and contracting for new antibiotics. It analyses UK (NICE and NHSE) plans to introduce a subscription model (delinking use of new antibiotics from payments for making the products available) and suggests that Australia could also pilot such an approach.

The Office of Health Economics (www.ohe.org) wishes to recruit a number of well-qualified, highly motivated and energetic junior economists, with particular strengths in health economics, including the economics of health technology assessment, health care systems and/or the life sciences industry.

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