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The Health Economists’ Study Group are pleased to announce that there will be a virtual plenary session to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the QALY!

                                          HESG Virtual Plenary

                                                         Tuesday 19 May 2020
                                                               1:30 – 2:45pm

50th Anniversary of the QALY

This session will hosted by the Health Economics Research Centre (HERC), University of Oxford.

  • The session will be chaired by Professor Philip Clarke, Director of HERC.
  • We have three dynamic speakers to spark off the debate.

Professor Sally Sheard

Head of Department of Public Health and Policy at the Institute of Population Health Sciences, University of Liverpool

Title: The complex history of QALY development in UK health policy

Abstract: There is a complex history behind the use of QALYs within UK health policy, from the initial interest in QoL measurements in the 1960s to the refinement of an applied tool in the mid-1980s. This presentation will discuss the relative roles of experts and politicians during this critical period, analysing the factors that helped and hindered the impact of academics such as Alan Williams to build constructive relationships within the UK government and Whitehall.

Short bio: Sally is a health policy analyst and historian, with a research focus in the interface between expert advisers and policymakers. She is head of the Department of Public Health and Policy at the University of Liverpool, and a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, leading a seven year project (2015-2022): The Governance of Health: medical, economic and managerial expertise in Britain since 1948. Sally holds the Andrew Geddes and John Rankin Chair of Modern History, with an appointment divided between the Department of Public Health and Policy and the Department of History.

Link to web profile:

Professor Anne SpenceR

Health Economics Group, University of Exeter

Title: I’m still standing – How has the QALY overcome the methodological challenges posed?

Abstract: The QALY remains the main tool to inform NICE Health Technology Assessment despite a number of methodological challenges. This presentation will review the methodological debates that have surrounded the QALY and looks at how the QALY has moved to address these challenges.

Short bio: Anne is an associate professor of Health Economics and head of Health Economics Group at Exeter University.  She leads both applied and methodological research to inform decision making in the health care sector, including methodological work around the assessment and valuation of health outcomes and the application of QALYs in a range of settings.

Link to web profile:

Professor Aki Tsuchiya

School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and Department of Economics, University of Sheffield

Title: Welfarist QALYs vs non-welfarist QALYs

Abstract: People often think that CBA is welfarist and CUA is not.  But the term CUA suggests that the QALY captures utility, and wouldn't that be welfarist?  This talk will try to distinguish between the welfarist QALY and the non-welfarist QALY, and discuss the implications (mostly of the latter).

Short bio: Aki is a professor of Health Economics at the University of Sheffield.  Her research interests include eliciting and modelling social preferences for health and equity and normative economics of health and wellbeing.

Link to web profile:

HERC/HESG Plenary Organisation Committee


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