Wednesday, 24 June 2009

How to demonstrate to policy makers that medical devices give value for money in healthcare

A couple of years back the European Health Technology Institute for Socio-Economic Research was initiated. Via research pooling and sharing of knowledge between 3 very well established universities the aim is to increase knowledge about medical technology enabling better healthcare decision. (The 4th partner is Eucomed – the trade association for the medical device industry.)

Now the 3 research partners have presented some preliminary findings on The Socio-Economic Value of Medical Devices. If you reed their press release you learn that:
  • In the UK the London School of Economics find that medical technology gives good value for money delivering lower rates of mortality and major adverse events, and shorter hospital stays in cardiovascular disease treatments
  • In German the Berlin University of Technology research finds after having studied real world data from the German Sickness Funds (i.e. instead of abstract modelling based on assumed figures) that innovations in stenting yields considerable improvements in lives saved and costs avoided.
  • The Bocconi University data highlights importance of non-financial drivers (i.e. instead the experts do drive innovation based on their experience exchange) in reimbursement context by looking at the introduction of Drug Eluting Stents.
The findings are interesting but I must say that I do not really understand from this summary how they are pooling and sharing knowledge in their research? But its early jet – 2 years is hardly a long time when it comes to mapping out, analysing and understanding healthcare organisation. Maybe you need this early findings first before you can start compare findings. And for me the most interesting is to see if they can take the findings to the next step – i.e. how the group will work to ensure that their findings can be and are used by the policy makers. This is said to be part of their aim.

My advice would be that if they will be able to reach the decision makers the next time they send out an interesting press release they make sure that those interested actually can find more indebt material on the topic on the organisations website.

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