Trends in Health Economics & Outcomes Research


A new ISPOR* report describes 2018’s top 10 trends in the applications of Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR). Contenders for the list were considered by ISPOR’s Health Science Policy Council and other thought leaders before final selection at the 2017 ISPOR Annual European Congress.

Summarized from the ISPOR report:

1. Drug Pricing and Spending. Conversations on how to manage drug prices are becoming more commonplace, with a particular focus on ensuring that drug prices reflect the value of treatment.

2. Innovative and Curative Therapies. As drug discovery and healthcare move toward more personalized medical treatment, novel therapies will continue to be developed. This is likely to deliver greater positive health impact, yet added budget pressures. The role of HEOR will be important to guide decisions on whether and how to fund such therapies.

3. Accelerated Drug Approvals. Regulatory efforts continue to speed the approval of new drugs, especially in areas of unmet medical need. Faster market entry may deliver important health benefit, yet this must be traded-off against any reduction in safety.

4. Universal Health Coverage. An increasing global commitment to universal health coverage is elevating the role of HEOR. While such systems have been the standard in Europe for decades, the World Health Organization’s focus on universal healthcare may raise its profile and make it a priority in other settings.

5. Aging Population. By 2050 the proportion of the global population 65 and over will be approximately 15%, up from 8.5% in 2016. Healthcare spending needs to be managed to deliver outcomes most desired by an aging population.

6. mHealth. There is rising optimism about the potential of mobile health (mHealth) to deliver cost-effective care. As with any new technology, however, evaluation can help to ensure that mHealth achieves its potential.

7. Diagnostics. As therapies become more advanced and more costly, the need to ensure that patients receive the right diagnosis is even greater.

8. Biosimilars. These drugs have the potential to give patients a variety of treatment options and provide savings to healthcare systems. Yet, considerations for their implementation are markedly different around the world, requiring specific assessments for a country or region.

9. Preventive Medicine. Economic evaluation is particularly important for preventive medicine, which holds great potential to improve healthcare, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

10. Disruptive Innovators. In the last 10 years, scientific innovations in cell and gene research have created new types of therapies, which pose novel challenges for HEOR. For example, such technologies create “scientific spillovers”: new scientific knowledge that can be applied to development of other new therapies. An economic perspective can help to determine the best reward mechanisms to maintain the incentives for development, yet ensure that society at large will reap the benefits.

Learn more: View the report in the CHDS repository.
Learn more: Browse research and decision maker tools, along with other resources at the ISPOR website.

* International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR)

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