Health Economics and Results Research (HEOR) has gained power and distinction among government and other stakeholders in health system decision-making. With precision medicine and value-based care playing an increasingly important role in the healthcare landscape, HEOR is also moving from a support function to a central role in pharmaceutical companies.
HEOR services can inform decision-making at many stages in the product life cycle, from R&D to pricing, market access, strategic planning to sales strategy and lifecycle management. These services play a significant role in drug approval and reimbursement with payers. The HEOR services also allow for evaluating the economics of treatment and quantifying the associated results.
Likewise, in the healthcare industry, decision-makers experience the pressure to opt for therapeutic ‘interventions’ from various treatment options made available by pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biotechnology companies. Added to this is the constant pressure to control rising healthcare costs.
Indeed, HEOR services help decision-makers to adequately compare and understand the appropriate solution among all the available options. However, research conducted in the HEOR world is not an easy feet, especially with social distancing, isolation and restrained in-person interaction.
With in-person research becoming nearly impossible, innovation through technology has stepped in to ensure that the patient and payer voice would still be heard. Through the use of videoconference platforms, patient interviews and focus groups have become virtual, allowing global HEOR researchers to connect with patients in their own living rooms at their convenience. Similarly, virtual advisory boards and payer interviews have also helped eliminate the added expense and time associated with travel.
Today, healthcare policy priorities range from cost containment, more patient-centric policies, to universal access. Consequently, the current data is more quantitative in nature and should provide direction toward future qualitative surveys. The coming years will prove the importance of qualitative data and economic perspectives to determine the best reward mechanisms that maintain the incentives for development, yet ensure that society at large will reap the benefits.
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