HEDS is part of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield. We undertake research, teaching, training and consultancy on all aspects of health related decision science, with a particular emphasis on health economics, HTA and evidence synthesis.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Professor Simon Dixon Invited Lecture at the Annual Meeting of the China Health Policy and Technology Assessment (HPTA) Network

Professor Simon Dixon gave an invited lecture to the 2nd Annual Meeting of the China Health Policy and Technology Assessment (HPTA) Network on 6th November. He was invited by Mrs Wei Fu, Director of the China National Health Development Research Centre (CNHDRC). The network aims to incorporate all Health Technology Assessment (HTA) resources in China to push forward the establishment of a national HTA mechanism. Simon used his research and NICE Technology Appraisal Committee experience to set out potential roles for academic health economists within a national HTA system.

Image of Professor Simon Dixon
Professor Simon Dixon
The meeting was in Wuhan and had delegates from across the whole of China. Other external speakers included Dr Sean Tunis, President of HTA International, and Francis Ruiz of the International Decision Support Initiative (IDSI) based at Imperial College London.

Details from the talk can be viewed here although you will need to translate the page. You can use Google Translate to carry out that task.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

UK Supreme Court back Minimum Unit Pricing measures in Scotland

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland can set a minimum price for alcohol, rejecting a challenge by the Scotch Whisky Association. In a unanimous judgement, seven Supreme Court judges said the legislation did not breach European Union law. The judges ruled the measure was a "proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim".
Image of pint glasses with beer in them
CC BY 2.0 Nicola http://bit.ly/2j0dZ8n
Petra Meier, Director of SARG told the press: “Our research has consistently shown that minimum unit pricing would reduce alcohol-related health problems in Scotland by targeting the cheap, high strength alcohol consumed by the highest risk drinkers. Moderate drinkers would be affected to a much smaller degree It is estimated that once it has reached its full effect, the introduction of a 50p minimum unit price in Scotland would result in 120 fewer alcohol-related deaths and 2000 fewer hospital admissions per year."
The Sheffield Alcohol Research Group is made up of a collaboration that contains Professor Alan Brennan, Dr Rob Pryce, Dr Duncan Gillespie and Colin Gillespie from HEDS.
For more information on the work of the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group go here

October’s CEAs, systematic reviews and epidemiological models in LMICs

To help us keep on top of current research in low and middle-income countries, we are running a monthly search of research that is aligned to our core research interests.  It's a simple search strategy, with those published in October that are most aligned to our interests listed below.  The full list of articles is kept in our "Searches archive" in the right-hand column.
  • Ahn I, Heo S, Ji S, Kim KH, Kim T, Lee EJ, et al. Investigation of nonlinear epidemiological models for analyzing and controlling the MERS outbreak in Korea. Journal of theoretical biology. 2017;437:17-28.
  • Campos NG, Jeronimo J, Tsu V, Castle PE, Mvundura M, Kim JJ. The Cost-Effectiveness of Visual Triage of Human Papillomavirus-Positive Women in Three Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 2017;26(10):1500-10.
  • Coelho CH, Durigan M, Leal DAG, Schneider AB, Franco RMB, Singer SM. Giardiasis as a neglected disease in Brazil: Systematic review of 20 years of publications. PLoS neglected tropical diseases. 2017;11(10):e0006005.
  • Goyal V, Kadam V, Narang P, Singh V. Prevalence of drug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis in India: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC public health. 2017;17(1):817.
  • Harika R, Faber M, Samuel F, Kimiywe J, Mulugeta A, Eilander A. Micronutrient Status and Dietary Intake of Iron, Vitamin A, Iodine, Folate and Zinc in Women of Reproductive Age and Pregnant Women in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa: A Systematic Review of Data from 2005 to 2015. Nutrients. 2017;9(10).
Image: Research by Thomas Haynie

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Health Technology Assessment in 6 Minutes

HEDS staff recently attended the ISPOR Europe conference in Glasgow. As usual the HEDS stand was impressive, and visitors were welcomed with our new video, which features many of our academic staff including Prof. Alan Brennan, Prof Allan Wailoo, Dr Sue Harnan and Dr Emma Hock, explaining the process of health technology assessment in a mere six minutes. From defining the question, to reviewing, economic analysis, modelling and the final HTA report, this video gives you the shortest possible overview of the entire HTA process, from the experts! 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

New Director of HEDS - Dr Phil Shackley

Image of Dr Phil Shackley
Dr Phil Shackley
Dr Phil Shackley has taken over from Professor Simon Dixon as the new Director of HEDS. Simon had done more than his fair share at the helm of HEDS and now steps back into the ranks to continue his research. We asked Dr Shackley a few questions about his new role in the section and plans for the future.

HEDS and ScHARR has huge global esteem as a research and teaching centre, what is it that makes HEDS so successful?

In short, the people who work here.  We are lucky to have such fantastic staff who are tremendously committed to what we do in terms of our research, teaching and our other activities. There’s a great sense of togetherness and a willingness to help one another out whenever the occasion demands.
You have taken over from Professor Simon Dixon who has been the Director of HEDS for six years, what advice has Simon given to you?

Simon’s main advice was to rein in any megalomaniac tendencies I may have and not to take on too much myself!  The art of delegation is one I intend to practise.

You have had two stints with ScHARR starting way back in 1996, what changes have you seen in your field of health economics in that time?

Where to begin?  If I had to pick one, it would be the increased sophistication of the methods of cost-effectiveness analysis. This is due in no small part to the now extensive use of Bayesian methods to examine uncertainty in economic evaluations. Back in 1996, I had no idea what a probabilistic sensitivity analysis was!

Teaching has played a large part of your role in recent years, will that continue or are you keen to move back towards research and your own specialist research areas?

The big change will be finally relinquishing my teaching management roles.  As well as being the Section Director for Learning and Teaching and a long serving member of the School’s Teaching Committee, I’ve also served time as programme director for two of our Masters courses (most recently the MSc Heath Economics and Decision Modelling, and in the dim and distant past the MSc in Health Economics and Management). As far as my teaching is concerned, I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of my job, and I have no plans to stop doing it in the foreseeable future.

What are your plans for the short term? 

To hold onto my sanity! Only kidding! To build on the strong foundations provided by my predecessors (Simon Dixon and Alan Brennan) to consolidate (and hopefully strengthen) our position as one of the world’s leading centres for health economics and decision science.

Monday, 13 November 2017

October’s CEAs.....

Our quick search for CEA’s published in October uncovered 43 articles.   In the right-hand column of this blog is a CEA Archive, which includes our CEA search results by month.  Below are those in our areas of interest.
  • Aronsson M, Svennberg E, Rosenqvist M, Engdahl J, Al-Khalili F, Friberg L, et al. Designing an optimal screening program for unknown atrial fibrillation: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Europace : European pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac electrophysiology : journal of the working groups on cardiac pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac cellular electrophysiology of the European Society of Cardiology. 2017;19(10):1650-6.
  • Ghabri S, Mauskopf J. The use of budget impact analysis in the economic evaluation of new medicines in Australia, England, France and the United States: relationship to cost-effectiveness analysis and methodological challenges. The European journal of health economics : HEPAC : health economics in prevention and care. 2017.
  • Greuter MJE, de Klerk CM, Meijer GA, Dekker E, Coupe VMH. Screening for Colorectal Cancer With Fecal Immunochemical Testing With and Without Postpolypectomy Surveillance Colonoscopy: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. Annals of internal medicine. 2017;167(8):544-54.
  • Jahn B, Rochau U, Kurzthaler C, Hubalek M, Miksad R, Sroczynski G, et al. Personalized treatment of women with early breast cancer: a risk-group specific cost-effectiveness analysis of adjuvant chemotherapy accounting for companion prognostic tests OncotypeDX and Adjuvant!Online. BMC cancer. 2017;17(1):685.
  • Spackman E, Hinde S, Bojke L, Payne K, Sculpher M. Using Cost-Effectiveness Analysis to Quantify the Value of Genomic-Based Diagnostic Tests: Recommendations for Practice and Research. Genetic testing and molecular biomarkers. 2017.

Friday, 10 November 2017

HEDS Winter Newsletter 2017

Image of a fire in a fireplace
CC BY 2.0 Roy Luck http://bit.ly/2zvE4Go
The nights may have drawn in and the heating turned back on, but you'll have plenty to read in front of your warm fire with the Winter Edition of the HEDS Newsletter out now. Professor Simon Dixon gives his fond farewells as he steps down as Section Director, whilst we have news about our Evidence Synthesis Centre, successful Fellowship bid for Dr Pete Dodd and note of our own special edition of PharmacoEconomics. All of these stories and many more can be read here

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

SYNTAX PROJECT: Integrated evidence synthesis for joint appraisal of tobacco and alcohol tax interventions for harm reduction in the UK

Professor Alan Brennan and Dr Duncan Gillespie from HEDS are leading a project with other ScHARR colleagues and collaboration with The University of Bath on alcohol and tobacco taxation. Both collaborators are part of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies @ukctas http://ukctas.net/ The project aims to investigate how tobacco and alcohol taxation can be changed to improve health for all. This is a three year project funded by the NIHR Public Health Research Programme. Researchers will talk with consumers, policymakers and experts and use survey and sales data to look at how tobacco and alcohol tax can work together: to change consumer behaviour and health; to benefit disadvantaged communities; and reduce NHS costs at a time of limited budgets.
Image of cigarette Smoke
Image CC BY 2.0 Andrew Goloda http://bit.ly/2AiyGEv
Background to the project
One in five adults in the UK smokes and one in five adults drinks alcohol in hazardous or harmful ways. These ‘lifestyle factors’ are leading causes of preventable illness and death, including from heart disease and cancers. Over 80,000 people a year die earlier than they should from diseases caused by drinking or smoking. For those who smoke and drink alcohol, the risk of developing these preventable diseases is even greater. This preventable human loss is compounded by an annual cost to the NHS of over £6 billion.
There is evidence that people buy less cigarettes and alcoholic drinks when the price increases. Health advocates are therefore calling for higher taxes and changes to tax structures on alcohol and tobacco products to encourage people to quit smoking and reduce their drinking. However, it is not clear what effect this would have on tax revenues and the wider economy. There is uncertainty about the effects of tax increases on smokers and drinkers who are on a low income or unemployed. Consumers can change their behaviour in response to changes in prices (for example, by switching to cheaper or illegal products).Uncertainty can also arise because tobacco and alcohol companies and retailers can alter prices to ensure some products stay affordable despite tax increases. The planned research will address these areas of complexity.

More information can be found here

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Professor Allan Wailoo awarded ISPOR Distinguished Service Award

Image of Prof Allan Wailoo with his award
Prof Allan Wailoo with his award
Huge congratulations to Professor Allan Wailoo who has received the ISPOR Distinguished Service Award at this year's ISPOR Annual European Congress. The ISPOR Distinguished Service Awards recognise those members who have lead an important ISPOR activity.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Latest publications from HEDS in October

Our regular monthly trawl for new publications from HEDS in collaboration with colleagues in ScHARR and further afield has reaped a tremendous amount of fresh research. Many of these are currently in press, so you can find much of our work in its open access form via our institutional repository. Tuck in here.   
Also don't forget that HEDS have a special issue of PharmacoEconomics out this month - you can access all of the papers here

Image of The European Journal of Economics front cover
© Springer                                  
        Brazier, J., Rowen, D.L., Karimi, M., Peasgood, T., Tsuchiya, A., Ratcliffe, J., n.d. Experience-based utility and own health state valuation for a health state classification system: why do it and how to do it. European Journal of Health Economics.

       Chambers, D., Preston, L., Topakas, A., de Saille, S., Salway, S., Booth, A., Dawson, J., Wilsdon, J., n.d. Review of diversity and inclusion literature  and an evaluation of methodologies and  metrics relating to health research.

       Cree, I.A., Uttley, L., Buckley Woods, H., Kikuchi, H., Reiman, A., Harnan, S., Whiteman, B.L., Philips, S.T., Messenger, M., Cox, A., Teare, D., Sheils, O., Shaw, J., 2017. The evidence base for circulating tumour DNA blood-based biomarkers for the early detection of cancer: a systematic mapping review. BMC Cancer 17, 697. doi:10.1186/s12885-017-3693-7

Hernandez, M., gray, L., n.d. BETAMIX: A command for fitting mixture regression models for bounded dependent variables using the beta distribution. The Stata Journal.
Image of the STATA Journal front cover
© The STATA Journal           

Hernandez, M., gray, L.A., wailoo, n.d. Development of methods for the mapping of utilities using mixture models:  Mapping the AQLQ-S to EQ-5D-5L and HUI3 in patients with Asthma. Value in Health.

King, M.T., Viney, R., Pickard, A.S., Rowen, D.L., Aaronson, N.K., Brazier, J.E., Cella, D.F., Costa, D.S.J., Fayers, P.M., Kemmler, G., McTaggart-Cowan, H., Mercieca-Bebber, R., Peacock, S., Street, D., Young, T.A., Norman, R., n.d. Australian utility weights for the EORTC QLU-C10D, a multi-attribute utility instrument derived from the cancer-specific quality of life questionnaire, EORTC QLQ-C30. Phamacoeconomics.

Image of PharmacoEconomics Journal   
© Springer
       Poku, E.N., Aber, A., Phillips, P., Essat, M., Woods, H., Palfreyman, S., Kaltenthaler, E., Jones, G., Michaels, J., n.d. Systematic review assessing the measurement properties of patient-reported outcomes for venous leg ulcers. British Journal of Surgery.

       Ren, S., Minton, J., Whyte, S., Latimer, N., Stevenson, M., n.d. A new approach for sampling ordered parameters in probabilistic sensitivity analysis. Pharmacoeconomics. doi:10.1007/s40273-017-0584-3

       Stevens, J.W., Fletcher, C., Downey, G., Sutton, A., n.d. A review of methods for comparing treatments evaluated in studies which form disconnected networks of evidence. Research Synthesis Methods.