- Intellimed Healthcare Solutions organized an online webinar on “Health Economics and Outcomes Research/ Health Technology Assessment: The evolving role in the Indian Healthcare Ecosystem” on 15th January 2021.
- The objective was to gain insights into the current scenario and the need for HEOR/HTA in India.
- Health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) is a growing field that provides important information for making healthcare coverage and access decisions.
The pharmaceutical & Medtech industry invests heavily in HEOR studies alongside clinical trials and continues to collect clinical, humanistic, and economic real-world data throughout the life cycle of a therapeutic product. Even after such efforts, why are some medicines not affordable and accessible? Why is there still a gap between healthcare and socioeconomic status? How can we equalize access to healthcare? The honorable speakers, panelists, and moderator addressed these important questions
Dr. K. Srinath Reddy, MD, President of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), delivered the key-note address. He said “the economic dimensions of health are seen to go wrong when we have a pandemic or health emergency, but afterward the health system is neglected and very scant attention is paid to the need for financing health and optimizing the investments in health interventions. This is where health economics comes in as a very important discipline. He highlighted the need for universal health coverage, reduced out of the pocket expenditure. Dr. Reddy said “horizontal equity is often seen as treating everyone equally. Many people have been deprived of essential services and a huge gap exists in health status. Vertical equity would bridge health equity gaps, by providing additional resources/ service. Thus, we need to balance horizontal and vertical equity as we construct the universal health coverage package. Health economics and health technology play a big role in optimizing resources, ensuring cost-effectiveness and equity benefits. He spoke about a few health initiatives such as “The National Digital Health mission Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and Ayushman Bharat”. Unfortunately, even when access to healthcare increased, financial hardships did not decrease in India. He concluded by saying “we need more health for our money i.e. for every rupee invested we must get a better return, more public financing for health, allocative and utilization efficiencies. That is why we need a better understanding of HEOR and HTA and integrate it into our health systems”.
Dr. V.M. Katoch, MD MD, FNASc, FASc, FAMS, FNA NASI-ICMR Chair on Public Health Research at Rajasthan University of Health Sciences (RUHS), Jaipur; President, JIPMER, Puducherry; President, AIIMS, Madurai; Former Secretary, Department of Health Research, Govt of India and Director-General, Indian Council of Medical Research in his special address suggested that we look at healthcare-related problems in a scientific way. According to him, the best intervention for the majority of the population must be the chosen one. This pandemic has brought back health to the center stage. He said “HTA based on sound health economics creates a vibrant instrument by which there is fair play and people get good healthcare interventions.
Dr. Rajesh Balkrishnan, Ph.D., Professor of Public Health Science at the University of Virginia, School of Medicine was the guest speaker for the webinar. He highlighted his research on “Real-world effectiveness of medications in terms of affordability and adoption”. Dr. Balkrishnan spoke about the 3 E`s – Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Equity, that help in evaluating the healthcare system. He gave an overview of the conceptual model of health determinants in terms of population perspectives.
The first panelist Mr. A Vaidheesh, Chief Executive Officer at Northstar Asis LLP, said “Integration in demand with those who bring the innovation is vital for growth and innovation of the healthcare industry?
- Mr. Manoj Saxena, Managing Director, Bayer Zydus Pharma, and CDH South Asia Bayer Pharma, our second panelist said, “In India, 70% of the expenses are out of pocket, and if the clinicians have visibility on the health economics of the treatment along with clinical evidence, it makes the composite value of treatment more clear. He said, “Around 50% of Indians suffer from anemia or iron deficiency anemia (IDA), and the cost to GDP because of anemia is 22 Billion dollars. Even though the treatment for anemia is not that expensive, why is the incidence so high? HEOR/HTA could be applied to find out the reason for lesser awareness and use of such interventions, to reduce anemia associated maternal death. Interestingly, anemic patients when become adults earn 2.5% less than their healthy peers. HEOR/HTA has applications in both, reimbursed markets and out of pocket markets to evaluate newer innovative therapies.
- Mr. Omar Sherief Mohammad, Managing Director, Roche Diabetes Care India Pvt. Ltd. our third panelist said, “This pandemic has increased connectivity between HCPs, doctors and their patients and also data sharing. Improvement in adherence to medication and self-monitoring has evident. HEOR is a part of Pharmacoeconomics whereas HTA is a different concept”.Mr. Omar also said that it is vital to bean honest industry partner and bring innovation along with an understanding and importance of HEOR.
- The fourth panelist, Dr. Anish Desai, MD, Director of Intellimed Healthcare Solutions highlighted the importance and need for real-world evidence, both in the pharma and Medtech world. From his experience, he said, how data generation and dissemination improved insulin penetration amongst diabetics. Converting bariatric surgery, from a cosmetic procedure to a therapeutic intervention but challenging but successful, said Dr. Anish. Finally, he concluded by laying down the importance of patient centricity in assessing healthcare interventions.