OHE Innovation Policy Prize

Article by: Graham Cookson


As OHE’s Chief Executive, I am writing on behalf of our Board of Trustees and the entire OHE research team to announce the launch of the inaugural biennial OHE Innovation Policy Prize of £40,000.

This year, OHE is celebrating our 60th anniversary, making it one of the oldest health economics research organisations globally. OHE was founded at the birth of health economics and has contributed to the development of novel theory and methodology, shaped the major policy and academic debates, and played a role in ultimately improving health and health care.

A major area of research for OHE has always been the economics of innovation, and OHE has made significant contributions to the development of theory, evidence, and practice in this area. All of which, dating back to 1962, is available on our website for public benefit. For example; The Many Faces of Innovation, Legal Barriers to the Better Use of Health Data to Deliver Pharmaceutical Innovation and The Lower Drug Costs Now Act and Pharmaceutical Innovation.

There can be no doubt about the huge value that innovation in life sciences delivers for each and every one of us. The record-breaking development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines, potential curative gene therapies for spinal muscular atrophy, or even the antibiotics which enables medicine and surgery to be performed safely.

However, new medicines are not without controversy in particular in the area of pricing and access. Despite significant research on the topic, how to balance the needs of patients, health systems and innovators remains a challenging topic. As economists, we believe that the market has an important role to play in aligning incentives, value, and rewards - that there is a challenging but critical balance between short-term static efficiency and long-term dynamic efficiency.

To mark our 60th anniversary and in support of our charitable goal of improving the quantity and quality of the debate within health economics, we are launching a biennial Innovation Policy Prize. We hope the OHE Prize will be a platform for generating novel ideas and solutions, sharing perspectives across disciplines and countries, as well as encouraging more research into the economics of the life sciences sector.

The question we are posing for our first prize fund year is: “How can policymakers design a system to generate fair prices that balances access and innovation throughout the lifecycle of medicines?”.

Entry is free of charge and open to everyone without an affiliation to OHE (Prize terms and conditions). Please visit the OHE Innovation Policy Prize website for further information on how to enter the competition including an Author's Guidance Pack designed to help entrants have the best chance of success.

We encourage you to share your ideas on how to address this challenging problem for the chance to win a £40,000 prize.

Good luck!

Graham Cookson
Chief Executive, OHE

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