City seminar to discuss how much a public health system should pay for new drugs

Brendan Kennelly, Health Economics and Policy Analysis research group at NUI Galway

Brendan Kennelly, Health Economics and Policy Analysis research group at NUI Galway

Recently published research, which looked at the cost thresholds for relatively expensive new drugs in the UK, and its relevance to Ireland's health system will be discussed at an event at NUI Galway tomorrow (Friday March 6 )

Professor Karl Claxton from the University of York will speak at an event hosted by NUI Galway’s Health Economics and Policy Analysis research group. Professor Claxton’s talk, ‘Methods for Estimating the Cost-Effectiveness Threshold for NICE and the NHS’ will take place at 2pm in Lecture Hall 1 of the Cairnes Building on the North Campus of NUI Galway.

“While the research is based on British data, its findings are very relevant for Ireland given that the HSE uses a very similar system to the NHS for deciding which new drugs are to be reimbursed,” explained Mr Brendan Kennelly, Health Economics and Policy Analysis research group at NUI Galway.

“Every public health system has to cope with a limited budget and has to decide how to use the available resources to achieve the best possible health outcomes for all the people that are entitled to use the system. This is a very challenging decision involving important questions about ethics, values, measuring health, and opportunity costs.”

Health economists have developed a concept called a Quality Adjusted Life Year (commonly known as a QALY ) to help this decision making process. A QALY is equal to one year of life in perfect health. When public health systems decide whether or not to reimburse a pharmaceutical company for a new drug they often refer to the cost per QALY of the new drug.

A live stream of the event will be available at www.nuigalway.ie/ health-economics/

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