To celebrate 60 years, the Office of Health Economics (OHE) launched a prize to promote original thinking and solve critical problems in health economics. The inaugural winner, Professor Aidan Hollis, University of Calgary, was announced at a Prize Ceremony last night at the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Entrants were asked to tackle a question widely discussed within health economics and highly relevant for ensuring patients are able to receive the latest treatments: ‘Can we design a system to generate fair prices that balances access and innovation throughout the lifecycle of medicines?’.
Professor Hollis’ winning entry proposed a novel solution where the price paid is not directly tied to the reward that the innovator of a medicine receives. This could increase access, even for poorer individuals or countries. Because this approach would work better for some type of pharmaceutical innovation than others, the system would be an optional alternative to the way that prices are currently set and reimbursements are agreed.
Responding to his win, Professor Aidan Hollis, University of Calgary, said:
“It is an amazing honour to be the winner of the first OHE Policy Innovation Prize. Supporting innovation in and access to new pharmaceuticals is one of the most important challenges our society faces. I hope this win helps stimulate greater discussion on the role de-linked reward payments could have in how we reimburse medicines in the future.”
Commenting on the winner, Anita Charlesworth, Chair of the Judging Panel, said:
“Highly-priced but potentially curative gene therapies could bring huge benefits for patients. But they also make balancing incentivising innovation and health system sustainability an ever greater challenge. Professor Hollis’ proposed solution impressed the judges with its blend of theoretical elegance, simplicity, and pragmatism.”
Professor Graham Cookson, OHE’s Chief Executive and also a Judge, added:
“We were delighted with the range and quality of submissions received. And whilst Professor Hollis’ was a clear winner we had three other excellent finalists. Considering their ideas together highlights that a critical piece of the puzzle is still to be fully defined, identifying a ‘fair’ reward. We’re looking forward to exploring these ideas further, from a range of perspectives, through 2023 and beyond.”
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