Does including the name of a specific severe disease in preference surveys affect public attitudes toward resource allocation? A recent proof of concept study suggests that 'naming' does not increase preferences for allocating more resources to severe diseases when improvement is likely to be modest.

Science, technology and innovation (STI) are gaining even greater importance with globalisation and international competition. The benefits STI provides, however, also carry risks and social costs. Science policy research is important in both encouraging and managing STI. A recent OHE lunchtime seminar examined the evolution of this field and its impact on decision makers.

Legislation in the EU provides incentives for the developmeng of drugs for rare diseases, known as orphan medicinal products (OMPs). At a recent conference, OHE's Dr Mestre-Ferrandiz reported on OHE research that examines the impact of these measures as well as whether and how pricing and reimbursement policies affect access in practice.

Research spillovers exist when research by one organisation creates increased output for other organisations that operate in the same or other sector of the economy. Given current constraints on public, charitable and private research funding, enhancing spillovers may become an important objective in UK science and technology policy. OHE recently collaborated with RAND Europe in a high-level conference that identified priorities for science policy research that can help improve the ability to take advantage of such synergies in the UK.

Antimicrobial resistance to drugs is a growing global public health issue. The EU began a discussion in 2009 about which policies can best encourage the development of new antibiotics. New OHE research uses an economic model to indentify which incentives for innovation are likely to be most successful.