iHEA World Congress 2017 in Boston

Arrow Award honours research on underinvestment in cancer research

The 24th Arrow Award for the best paper in health economics is awarded to

Eric Budish, Benjamin N. Roin and Heidi Williams for their paper “Do firms underinvest in long-term research? Evidence from cancer clinical trials” American Economic Review 105(7): 2044-2085, 2015.

The Arrow Award Committee is proud to acknowledge the authors of this innovative and policy-relevant paper which asks how many lives are lost due to short-termism and patent distortions of private research investment decisions by the pharmaceutical industry. The premise is that investments in R&D are skewed towards late-stage cancer treatments, which require shorter clinical trials, than early-stage treatments or prevention. Shorter trials allow the late-stage drugs to be brought to market more quickly, lengthening the effective patent term for these new drugs. The paper addresses a fundamental and policy relevant question and brings together a range of approaches that distinguish excellence in health economics research. A tailored theoretical model is developed to define the problem, its consequences for social welfare and the policy options available. Information from clinical trials registries is drawn together to create a novel dataset. New evidence is provided by these data that R&D investments are negatively correlated with commercialization lags. This empirical finding is given careful scrutiny to check whether it provides robust evidence of a causal mechanism. Three policy options are explored: allowing use of surrogate (non-mortality) endpoints in clinical trials, redesigning the patent system to start the clock at commercialization, and providing public subsidy for projects with long lags.

The Committee would like to make honourable mention of:

Katherine Baicker, Sendhil Mullainathan and Joshua Schwartzstein "Behavioral hazard in health insurance” Quarterly Journal of Economics (2015) 1623-1667.

iHEA will present the Arrow Award to the authors during a brief ceremony at the AEA/ASSA meetings in January, 2017.

-- Andrew Jones (Chair) & Christopher Ruhm (Co-chair), iHEA Arrow Award Committee

Exciting plans for iHEA … and opportunities for members to participate

Di McIntyre, Executive Director, iHEA

Diane McIntyre

A key part of my activities as Executive Director is to update members on important developments in iHEA. It has been a busy start to the year with many exciting new initiatives already underway. This is the first in a series of updates that will be circulated over the next few months to fully inform you of these activities and plans, and to alert you to opportunities for iHEA members to engage in these processes. This initial update provides an overview of the goals for 2016-2017, developed by the iHEA Board during its first meeting of the year. These goals, and strategies to achieve them, were informed directly by the views expressed and issues raised by members during the “iHEA 2020 strategic planning process” undertaken in 2014, which many of you participated in either through sub-committees, the planning day in Dublin or the online member survey (see all of the key reports on this process here).

Are you aware that all iHEA Board meeting minutes are posted on the website? If you are interested in seeing more detail about what is planned for the year ahead, please click here

The priorities for the next two years are to improve the quality of existing iHEA services and to lower costs, with a particular focus on the biennial iHEA congress, and to explore possible additional services for iHEA members. More details of practical steps to achieve these quality improvements, such as establishing a Scientific Committee that will be more proactive in promoting high quality scientific content at future congresses, will be provided in future updates. Future updates will also reflect on the range of potential new activities that have been suggested, all of which will be explored to identify those for which the demand is greatest and where iHEA has a clear comparative advantage in providing these services.

In order to implement any of these initiatives effectively and to sustain them, as well as ensure a responsive and accountable membership-based organisation, strengthening of governance structures and processes must be prioritised. An important starting point is that the Board (click here to see the current Board members) will be more involved in governance and oversight of iHEA management. Board members will also be playing a far more active role in iHEA activities, with each Board member serving on up to two Board committees. We would like to encourage more direct participation by asking iHEA members who have an interest and relevant expertise to also contribute to various committees.

We would like to ask interested iHEA members to submit their CV along with a letter explaining why they would be interested in participating in the Ad-hoc Committee on Governance and Bylaws to diane.mcintyre@healtheconomics.org by Friday 11 March 2016. We explicitly want to enhance regional and gender diversity in the committee, for this reason, we are particularly seeking expressions of interest from iHEA members from outside North America, Europe and Australia (as we already have Board members from these regions serving on the committee) and from women.

The committee that we would like to initiate urgently is an “Ad-hoc Committee on Governance and Bylaws”. This Committee will be chaired by the iHEA President, Adam Wagstaff, and the other Board members who have volunteered to serve on this Committee are Laurence Baker, David Bishai, Terkel Christiansen, Rachel Lu, Tony Scott and Richard Smith. The overall aim of this committee is to critically review the iHEA Bylaws (available here) and all related policy documents (available here) and recommend changes to ensure transparent, representative and effective governance of iHEA and its activities. The Committee is likely to work quite intensively over the next few months, and is expected to finalise its report in the second half of the year so that recommended changes in the governance of iHEA can be implemented in 2017.

We would like iHEA members who are not on the Board to participate in this important committee (see box for details). Depending on the response to this call, we may not be able to accommodate all interested iHEA members on the committee. If this is the case, we will respond to everyone who expresses an interest and will clarify the criteria used to select committee members.

I hope that this update item provides a taste of some of the Board’s plans. There are many other exciting plans and opportunities for member participation, so please look out for future updates. Please feel free to contact me at any stage with ideas and feedback.


Boston 2017: the next World Congress

Theme: Revolutions in the Economics of Health Systems
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Co-Hosted by: Boston University
Venue: Questrom School of Business, Boston University, 595 Commonwealth Avenue
Dates: July 8-11, 2017
Pre-Congress: 6-7 July 2017
Abstract & Session Submission Opens: 15 September 2016

Visa Information [PDF]


New Executive Director of iHEA Appointed

On behalf of the Board of Directors I am pleased to announce that Professor Diane McIntyre, University of Cape Town, South Africa, has been appointed Executive Director of iHEA from January 1st 2016. Di was selected from among eight candidates. She will succeed Professor Tom Getzen, the founder and ED of iHEA for the last 22 years.

Di is presently a member of the board of iHEA. The board is looking forward to collaborate with her in an era where Health Economics has matured as discipline and iHEA is facing new challenges. A task in front of us is to implement ideas from the newly accomplished iHEA 2020 planning process.

-- Terkel Christiansen, President

iHEA Presidential and Board Election Results

Congratulations to David Bishai who is iHEA's new President-Elect. Joining him on the board will be two new board members, Joanna Coast and Tony Scott, as well as our new Treasurer Audrey Laporte.

Our special thanks to all the candidates for their participation and contributions to the association; and, of course, to all the voters for being involved in the election.

Arrow Award Honors Research on Financial Incentives and Medical Treatment

The 23rd Arrow Award for the best paper in health economics is awarded to Jeffrey Clemens and Joshua D. Gottlieb for their paper “Do Physicians' Financial Incentives Affect Treatment Patterns and Patient Health?” American Economic Review 104(4): 1320-1349, 2014.

The Arrow Award Committee is proud to acknowledge the authors of this innovative and policy-relevant paper.

The Committee would like to make honourable mention of two of the other papers that were considered:

  • Kate Ho and Ariel Pakes “Hospital choices, hospital prices, and financial incentives to physicians” American Economic Review 104(12): 3841-3884, 2014.
  • Patrick Bajari, Christina Dalton, Han Hong and Ahmed Khwaji “Moral hazard, adverse selection, and health expenditures: a semiparametric analysis” RAND Journal of Economics 45(4) 747-763, 2014.

Andrew Jones (Chair) & Christopher Ruhm (Co-chair), iHEA Arrow Award Committee


22nd Arrow Award: Jonathan T. Kolstad

The 22nd Arrow Award for the best paper in health economics is awarded to Jonathan T. Kolstad for his paper “Information and quality when motivation is intrinsic: evidence from surgeon report cards,” American Economic Review 103(7): 2875-2910, 2013 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/aer.103.7.2875). More info


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Featured Jobs

Senior Researcher in Health Economics: :Nuffield Department of Population Health
Location: Headington, Oxford, UK
Deadline: June 6, 2016

Featured Conferences

2017 iHEA World Congress - Revolutions in the Economics of Health Systems: iHEA, Boston University
Dates: 8-11 July 2017
Pre-Congress: 6-7 July 2017

EuHEA Conference on Health Economics 2016: Know the Ropes- Balancing Costs and Quality in Health Care: Hamburg Center for Health Economics (HCHE), EuHEA
Dates: 13-16 July 2016
Pre-Conference: 12 July 2016

6th Biennial Conference of the American Society of Health Economists: New Frontiers in Health Policy and Health Care: ASHEcon, University of Pennsylvania
Dates: 12-15 June 2016

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