Health Economists' Study Group (HESG) Meeting 4-6 January 2017


The Health Economists’ Study Group supports and promotes the work of health economists. It was founded in 1972 and is therefore the oldest organisation of its type in health economics and remains one of the largest. It is based in the UK, but this does not restrict its membership and interests. The group organises HESG meetings at which academic and policy relevant papers are discussed. There are two meetings per year, held at different locations, usually in the UK.

This year’s winter HESG conference was hosted by the Health Economics Unit at the University of Birmingham.

I had the pleasure of attending for one day, Thursday 5th January, where I managed to sit in a few sessions and discussions. As always, all papers being presented and discussed were very interesting. I would highlight a couple which I thought were very promising for future references in trial-based economic evaluation and therefore useful for my work as a health economist working on clinical trials. An on-going work by Matthew Franklin, University of Sheffield, is trying to assess the methodological risks and benefits of using electronic data sources versus self-reported instruments for measuring healthcare resource utilisation. A very detailed description of the name of databases, service category (ie primary/secondary care), resource-use data availability, and extensive comments about the data coverage and further content were provided. This has been a 6-year work that will ultimately produce a repository of electronic resource-use data for trial-based economic evaluations. A repository of self-reported instruments has already been developed ( Slightly different, but equally interesting paper by Helen Dakin and colleagues, discussed how different types of uncertainty may be dealt with and combined when extrapolating economic evaluations beyond the study period. The authors developed a taxonomy identifying the specific types of uncertainty and proposed seven main categories; structural/model uncertainty; stochastic uncertainty; sampling/variation heterogeneity; parameter uncertainty; structural/model uncertainty; stochastic uncertainty; imputation uncertainty and generalisability/transferability.

The summer HESG will be hosted by the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen 28-30th June 2017.