Information on events hosted by the Network of Alberta Health Economists (NOAHE) as well as by national and international health economics organizations and associations.

NOAHE Rounds II Session 5: Patent Term Restoration

Patents temporarily protect brand-name drugs from generic competition, but some of the 20-year patent term is used up before marketing approval. To compensate for patent life lost to clinical testing and regulatory review, many national jurisdictions allow for patent term extensions within certain limits. Canada only recently made the controversial decision to launch its own patent term extension program. In this session, we will discuss two recently published studies about the U.S. experience with patent term restoration extensions, where these laws have been in place since the 1980s. The main features of the new Canadian laws surrounding “Certificates of Supplementary Protection” (i.e., patent term extensions) will also be outlined and some implications discussed, including why these laws matter for drug developers and those concerned about affordable drug pricing and access.

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NOAHE Health Economics Outcomes Research Seminars - February 26th

The NOAHE Health Economics and Outcomes Research Student Seminars are presented by the Network of Alberta Health Economists in collaboration with the University of Alberta School of Public Health Journal Club.


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Introduction to Applied Health Economic Modelling Course - March 2019


Please join us for a free 3-day intensive course, “Introduction to Applied Health Economic Modelling,” presented by Drs. Chris McCabe, Jeff Round, Andrew Sutton, and the IHE health economics team. This course will cover introductory applications of cost-effectiveness analysis for resource allocation decisions, sensitivity analysis, economic modelling for cost-effective analysis (Markov Models), and decision uncertainty (re: the cost of doing nothing).

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NOAHE Rounds Session 6: Why it's Time to Abandon the ICER

The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) is the most popular summary measure in economic evaluations of health technologies. Yet reporting ICERs is unnecessary: alternative summary measures exist, based upon ‘net health benefit’ (NHB) or ‘net monetary benefit’ (NMB).

The popularity of the ICER may be due to its perceived simplicity, as well as the ability to calculate ICERs without a known cost-effectiveness threshold (which is required to calculate NHB or NMB). This latter property may be considered particularly attractive by decision makers who are reluctant to specify an explicit cost-effectiveness threshold, but who still wish to be seen to be conducting economic evaluations of health technologies.

The purpose of this paper is to argue that the popularity of the ICER is unwarranted, and that future economic evaluations should abandon the ICER in favour of NHB or NMB. This argument is based upon a number of components.

First, we note that the perceived simplicity of the ICER is misplaced, since ICERs are generally more difficult to both calculate and interpret than NHB or NMB. Second, we show that many common ways of interpreting ICERs are flawed and result in misleading conclusions. Third, we establish that ICERs have no greater interpretability than NHB or NMB in the absence of a cost-effectiveness threshold. Fourth, we demonstrate how NHB and NMB allow decision makers to perform various tasks, such as ranking strategies, which are not generally possible using ICERs. Fifth, we propose a novel means for reporting NHB and NMB on the cost-effectiveness plane that is simpler and more flexible than the ‘efficiency frontier’ approach used to report ICERs.

Collectively, this nullifies any perceived advantages to using ICERs, even if the cost-effectiveness threshold is unknown. As a result, we conclude that it is time to abandon the ICER in favour of NHB or NMB.

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NOAHE Thesis Throwdown - April 2019 - Pan-Canadian Edition

In collaboration with the Institute of Health Economics, the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary (the O’Brien Institute for Public Health and the School of Public Policy), and Alberta Health, the NOAHE Thesis Throwdown events seek to promote discourse related to health economics research, while encouraging collaboration and creating improved networking opportunities amongst graduate students in a casual, stress-free environment.

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