ISPOR Asia-Pacific: Working Toward a Healthier Population in APAC

Alasdair GodfreyThe past decade has been incredibly busy and productive for health economics outcomes research (HEOR) and health technology assessment (HTA) in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. In an effort to ensure equitable and affordable access to quality health care solutions while making costs sustainable, many APAC countries have developed and implemented evidence-based HTA guidelines and policies in a variety of formats.

However, health care and medical technology continues to evolve rapidly and the advent of innovative technology requires equally innovative ways to assess the efficacy and value. To keep pace with this rapid evolution and ensure pioneering health care research continues to be supported, we must be fast to adapt. Novel ways of assessing new technologies need to be devised and implemented.

This is particularly important when it comes to the challenge of fair and sustainable pricing strategies and decision-making. In recent years the HEOR community has seen attempts to utilize a range of innovative solutions like risk-sharing arrangements and managed entry schemes, moving away from traditional reference pricing which has historically been prevalent in Asia Pacific countries. However, there doesn’t yet appear to be an ideal solution pleasing to all stakeholders — industry, payer, clinician and patient.

We look forward to engaging with attendees at the Optum symposium, “Pricing Developments in the Asia Pacific,” during the 7th ISPOR Asia-Pacific conference, to address many of the opinions and topics generated by some of the more creative fledgling, contemporary pricing policies and solutions that have been trialed in this region comprised of more than 30 countries.

Additionally, access to real-world data and the linking of health care records to track patient journeys and create richer data sets are areas of great interest to ISPOR attendees. Complex questions regarding ownership of data and privacy issues with patient-level data are frequent discussion topics by key decision-makers, analysts, patient advocates and politicians who are all seeking better ways to analyze health care access and utilization.

Due to the inherent limitations of clinical trial data, there has been growing interest in accessing and using real-world data to aid decision-making in most APAC countries. However, due to the diversity of jurisdictions, laws and health care systems, this increased interest has also raised many challenges and questions. Optum has a long history in the U.S. with data collection, provision and analytics, so we hope to be a resource in helping to determine how health care data can be better used in the region.

The ISPOR conference theme is very telling: Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research in Asia-Pacific: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Direction. With a time of growth, development and change among a vast array of health systems catering to varied populations in nearly every context imaginable, there is no shortage of challenges. Yet, there are high expectations to deliver and this gathering will allow us to hone in on the issues particular to the region in an effort to achieve improved health care decisions, greater equity, and sustainable costs –— all of which contribute to a healthier population.


About the Author:

Alasdair Godfrey
Asia Pacific Leader and Senior Director, Health Economics & Outcomes Research
Alasdair Godfrey joined Optum as Asia Pacific leader in February of 2014. Since coming to Optum, he has been responsible for building the new Optum team of Health Economic and Outcomes Research specialists. Alasdair has a medical and scientific academic background with degrees in medicine and genetics. His main interests are around co-dependent technologies (or personalised medicine), remote monitoring technology, the changing environment of global and regional health policy, government decision-making processes, the impact and issues of follow-on biological medicines and equitable access to best health care.

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