Health Economists and Statisticians in the evolving HTA field- what is the way foreward?

Dear Readers,

please find below a summary from a recent Pharma IQ podcast about HTA developments and the future role and interaction of health economists and statistician. While there is a clear improvement of statistical techniques used in health economics analysis over the last decade there is still a lot to be agreed upon when it comes to the methods used for indirect comparisons in relation to relative effectiveness. In the oncology field, additional concerns are the extrapolations of intermediate endpoints such as progression free survival to overall survival - often causing debates when it comes to what statistical technique to use; or how to account for cross over in trials etc. The podcast gives some interesting insights and is timely as to the current HTA discussions. Needless to mention that at the same time we should beware not to create a statistical overkill and avoid that lengthy statistical discussions cause market access delays but rather focus on agreements as to how to create the lacking evidence.

Enjoy the podcast.

Chrissie Fletcher, Director and Head of International Biostatistics at Amgen, joins Pharma IQ to discuss the way forward for Health Technology Assessment.

Chrissie Fletcher joined Pharma IQ to talk about Health Technology Assessment. In this comprehensive podcast, she discussed how she sees health economists and statisticians interacting going forwards, why there is so much emphasis on reporting for reimbursement and whether she expects pharma companies will try and do this more in-house, in the future. She also offered her thoughts on health economists who don’t have a statistical background, how she sees the HTA evolving and its place in the next 5-10 years.

According to Chrissie, reporting for reimbursement is becoming more important because it is what all the clinical trial programmes form the basis of, the evidence that they’re going to try and use to demonstrate the clinical effectiveness of the products, also the safety, as well as the cost effectiveness. In order for this to be really successful there is a clear need for transparency. ” We want to be sure that all the information that we generate throughout our drug development process is visible, it’s published in a timely fashion. And of course in order to make sure that we minimise any publication bias, we want to make sure all results, whether they’re positive or negative, are actually published” says Chrissie.

Chrissie has also mentioned that Health Technology Assessment has been evolving for number of years and the importance is continuing to increase. She discussed in details a couple of areas: the concept of the relative effectiveness or so called comparative effectiveness research:  ” On the health sector Health Development Agency (HDA) side, this is now becoming more and more important, but Health Technology Assessment is more local. The regulatory approach has often has a very specific regional focus and I’ll say the European Medicines Association for Europe and the Food and Drug Administration for the US. But HDA people in the UK in Australia and in Canada are very local. So there has been some kind of a disconnect to some degree in terms of what the regulators focus on and what the payers focus on.”

If you want to listen to the full interview, you can download it from HTA Forum website: http://bit.ly/gBT8uJ

The interview has been conducted in relation to Pharma IQ’s Health Technology Assessment conference, taking place 05 – 07 April, 2011 in London. If you want to find out more, please go to: www.htaforu

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