On Wednesday 21st September 2016, Professor Philip Clarke from the University of Melbourne led an OHE Lunchtime Seminar on the topic of: Health Economic Evaluation throughout the Ages.
The seminar started with an overview of contributions from as far back as the 1860s which discussed the value of human life and how this could be measured in different parts of the world.
Prof Clarke then moved on to discuss early 20th century research in the US that looked at correlations between taxpayers’ income and mortality rates. Next, seminar attendees heard about research undertaken during World War II, done by (or for) the US military, evaluating blood tests for syphilis and the cost-effectiveness of civil defence mechanisms.
Finally, Prof Clarke talked about “modern” economic evaluation and its origins in the 1960s. Clarke noted that OHE was one of the earliest groups involved in what became the discipline of health economics.
The first reference to work by the OHE appeared in The Times in 1962 in an article reporting on the OHE publication: “Progress against Tuberculosis”. The publication included estimates of the costs of TB and projected that new treatments would make the disease rare by 1975. This did happen, although TB has reappeared to some extent since.
Progress against Tuberculosis, along with many other early pieces of OHE work, are available through the publications section of our website.
The recording and the slides of Prof Clarke’s presentation are available below.