Increasingly, medical innovations need to demonstrate their value to hard-pressed health systems. However, value is not a simple concept, and takes a different form for the innovator, health technology assessor, payer, clinician and – importantly – the patient. Health economists typically calculate cost per quality-adjusted life year added by the therapy. However, this misses such factors as the seriousness of the condition, its economic impact on society, the existence (or not) of alternative treatments, the importance of maintaining industry commitment to invest and the additional worth of new approaches or mechanisms for diseases that have lacked ‘breakthroughs’ in the past.
CASMI’s approach to this area combines the insights of health economists and those who study innovation across other sectors and how it is incentivised and rewarded. We seek to develop models that can be used to fully capture both the costs and economic benefits to society that are associated with an innovation. These models can be used to reach a holistic, societal perspective on the economics of research, product development, innovation uptake and improved adherence on some of our most pressing health challenges. Our goal is to ensure society puts in place the right incentives to ensure that its toughest challenges – for example mental illness, Alzheimer’s disease and antimicrobial resistance – are properly addressed. Also that the greatest rewards are earned by those innovators that bring true advances of greatest curative potential.
In this work our economists collaborate with Health Technology Appraisal (HTA) agencies, health system managers, patient organisations and clinicians, in order to achieve as broad a consensus as possible around workable solutions.