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Health Economics Summer School 2015

September 14th – September 18th, 2015

A high–level program offered by the Institute for Innovation & Valuation in Health Care in cooperation with the University of Heidelberg (Department for Public Health, Mannheim Medical Faculty).

Overview and Rationale

The relevance of Health Technology Assessments (HTAs) for market access, pricing and reimbursement of health technologies has in-creased continuously over the last decades. Conventional HTAs predominantly rest on two pillars: an evaluation of clinical effectiveness drawing on well-established principles of evidence-based medicine (EBM), and an attempt to determine the “value for money” offered by interventions using (some sort of) economic assessment.

Yet the approaches adopted by HTA agencies to assess “value for money” vary greatly. This variance can hardly surprise as issues related to access to health care represent an area permeated with ideologically charged controversy. Unfortunately, many current courses in health economics do not address the background of this variance. In the absence of a critical appraisal of the merits and the shortcomings of conventional health economic methods, however, neither their correct application nor a contribution to the search for improved or alternative evaluation paradigms can be expected.

Thus, the Heidelberg Health Economics Summer School has been established to contribute to closing this gap, addressing the strengths, weaknesses, and potential of alternative economic evaluation para-digms, ranging from cost benefit analysis (CBA) and cost utility / effectiveness analysis (CUA/CEA) to more recently advocated social cost value analysis (CVA). Topical country-specific HTA case studies will be used to illustrate the policy relevance of these concepts, addressing examples such as ultra-orphan drugs, cancer and end-of-life treatments, as well as “personalized medicine”.