The issue of reimbursement and pricing has become a critical factor in the successful marketing of a new product. The worldwide cost of healthcare has increased enormously with the ageing of the population, the availability of new technologies and pharmaceutical products, and the focus on prevention. This has forced health authorities and health insurers to find ways of cutting costs and to establish priorities.
New rules and budget-limitation measures are enforced to influence the decision-making process within hospitals, private medical practices, and the home care market. For this reason the necessity to prove the cost / effectiveness of one product or procedure over another has become vital for the placement of a new product on the market.
The secret is to start this process very early in the development cycle of a new product, and not to leave it for a late stage (the so-called “forth hurdle”). A good Health Economics expert may very well propose changes to the design of a pilot, exploratory study, in order to gather information that will be essential for an early HTA.
We can identify the appropriate gold standard for each treatment to be used as a comparator in controlled studies; identify direct and indirect costs associated with different forms of treatment; design clinical studies comparing different treatment entities, for example drugs, devices, or alternative treatment methods.
We can select the appropriate quality of life (QOL) instrument for the disease and the treatments considered; design and manage comparative outcome studies, with built-in cost/effectiveness, cost/benefit and quality-adjusted life-years (QALY) analyses.
We can identify and manage the relationship with regulatory agencies and public and private reimbursement bodies, even in niche areas such as Medical Device Agencies, or NICE and the ACBS in the UK.
Most of this activity will be done in partnership with Centres of Excellence in Health Economic Research.