Solving the puzzle in HEOR

Our viewpoint

Hello and welcome to my debut LCP blog! I’m thrilled to have recently joined LCP as a Principal in the Health Analytics team. With 12 years of experience in health economics, I’m excited to be contributing this expertise to LCP’s established team, set up in 2020 and led by Dr Jonny Pearson-Stuttard.

My experience before joining LCP includes leadership roles in Health Economics teams at Mtech Access and Parexel. I hold a BSc in Mathematics and an MSc in Health Economics and have experience in economic evaluation across disease areas, including gastroenterology, nephrology, and mental health. I have also worked across the product lifecycle, from early economic models to global models suited for health technology assessment (HTA), as well as models developed for use in local payer negotiations. I have worked on HTA submissions throughout my career, with a focus on England (NICE), Scotland (SMC) and Ireland (NCPE).

Health Economics and Outcomes Research

I feel fortunate to work in such a varied and innovative space as Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR). It is constantly evolving, fuelled by parallel advancements in therapeutics and technology. No two projects or products are the same, and methods which were effective in the past may no longer be the most optimal approaches today given the dynamic nature of both clinical evidence and healthcare system needs. As consultants, our goal should be to stay current with these developments, contribute to methodological advances, and offer reliable and informed advice to our life science clients.

As health economists, we are becoming increasingly accustomed to the challenges of early-phase data, small sample sizes, lack of direct evidence against key comparators (whether due to single-arm trials or otherwise), surrogate endpoints, and limited patient follow-up (to name but a few!). We continue to develop methodologies to mitigate the uncertainty associated with the realities of today’s clinical trials landscape and I'm excited to have joined a team that places a strong emphasis on harnessing the power of real-world evidence (RWE) and technology. By combining our data science, epidemiological and clinical knowledge, we can gain valuable insights and support patient access to effective therapeutics, whilst staying mindful of the limitations of our data sources.

Innovative reimbursement models

Aligned with this perspective, we must recognise the limits of what we can achieve with the data at our disposal. In the absence of rich and long-term direct comparative evidence, high decision uncertainty will often remain, especially in the case of advanced or personalised medicines where significant upfront costs are common. That’s why I’m excited about the work that LCP are doing in the space of innovative value-based reimbursement solutions, seeking to realign incentives and deliver value to patients and the wider health system. These solutions have the potential to play a key role in ensuring patient access against the backdrop of recognised payer uncertainty and it’s great to be part of these discussions.

The HEOR puzzle

As a fresh graduate, I was given a simple modelling task to complete before an interview for a Trainee Health Economist role. To my surprise, the task felt like a puzzle that I would happily solve in my spare time, and the role felt like a perfect fit. Over ten years later, the puzzles haven’t become any easier, but the satisfaction of solving them has only increased. I’m looking forward to learning from my new colleagues and tackling important and interesting client challenges in the months to come.