The Common Fund’s Health Economics program supports research to understand how innovations in treatments, diagnosis, and preventive strategies can be most effectively deployed to improve health and well-being. Research supported by this program identifies factors determining adoption of effective health technologies, innovations, and discoveries, so that past and future investments by NIH may have greater public health impact.
Specifically, program activities support four overall goals:
- Build research capacity in health economics such that future NIH-supported biomedical research is informed by economic analysis of factors that influence health and the adoption of NIH-supported innovations.
- Identify factors that influence optimal adoption of high-value health technologies.
- Identify factors that influence optimal adoption of personalized medicine approaches.
- Develop one or more products or tools (e.g., syntheses, guidelines, databases) that address the lack of adequate or available data needed to conduct economic analyses that inform the translation of NIH-supported research into practice.
Economics approaches are instrumental in understanding significant barriers that can prevent exciting scientific discoveries from improving health and saving lives. For example, studies of the effects of various incentives and pressures in the marketplace on consumer and provider behavior can elucidate strategies that promote the optimal adoption and use of high-value innovations. Understanding the implications of health care system structure and organization, as well as practice design, for adoption and use can identify both opportunities for further innovation and barriers that could be overcome by thoughtful design of interventions stemming from fundamental advances in medical science. Careful modeling of the likely adoption and real-world effects of treatment, diagnostic and preventive strategies can inform efforts to maximize their impact on health and well-being. Equally important as the research findings from this program will be the research capacity and tools that are being developed. These resources can be leveraged by individual NIH Institutes and Centers to conduct related, but more narrowly focused, research on these questions, and importantly can optimize the adoption of future biomedical technologies and interventions.
Because the intent is the development of generalizable understanding, several grants were funded as cooperative agreements. This mechanism supports the synthesis of funded research efforts and thereby can improve the process leading from scientific advances to health improvement. Cooperative agreements allow substantial involvement of NIH staff to assist, guide, coordinate, and participate in project activities. NIH staff working on the Health Economics program provide a framework through Steering Committees that can facilitate communication and build synergy among investigators working in this area, with the aim of establishing a solid foundation for development of the health economics field.
This page last reviewed on February 16, 2018