Director's Letter
As policy efforts to achieve better value in health care intensify, our Center is pleased to announce several updates and initiatives as we build our group and contribute to these efforts.   Dan Ollendorf, PhD, formerly Chief Science Officer at the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER)v has joined our Center.  Paige Lin, PhD, has received a grant from the NIH to study racial and ethnic disparities in Alzheimer’s disease.   Tara Lavelle, PhD, has received two awards, one from the NIH and one from the Personalized Medicine Coalition, to study the cost-effectiveness of using genetic screening in newborns and children. James Chambers, PhD, and colleagues have published several high-profile papers, using CEVR’s Specialty Drug and Evidence and Coverage (SPEC) Database to document widespread variation across US payers in how they cover and restrict specialty drugs. More on these and other highlights are below. 

Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving holiday!

Peter Neumann, ScD
Director, Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health
Tara Lavelle, PhD, has received two awards, one from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and one from the Personalized Medicine Coalition, to investigate the economic value of using targeted genomic sequencing for newborn diagnosis and care.
Paige Lin, PhD, has received a five-year, $2.6 million grant  from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to examine racial and ethnic disparities in the care of older adults with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.
Dan Ollendorf, PhD,  formerly Chief Science Officer at the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), recently joined the CEVR team as the Director of Value Measurement and Global Health Initiatives and will be an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.
At ISPOR Tokyo, Peter Neumann, ScD, presented on a panel on health technology assessment principles and pricing with Parashar Patel (Boston Scientific), Makoto Kobayashi (CRECON Research & Consulting), and Isao Kamae (The University of Tokyo).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have subscribed to the CEA Registry data which will be used by various CDC programs to support evidence-based recommendations and inform resource allocation decisions.
The 2018 summer interns read and extracted extensive data from 309 new articles for CEVR's Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) Registry.
Specialty Drug and Evidence and Coverage Database
CEVR recently launched the Specialty Drug and Evidence and Coverage (SPEC) Database, which features insights on:
  • 17 of the largest US commercial health plans
  • 8,800 coverage decisions
  • 240 specialty drugs
  • 200+ diseases, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and rare diseases
  • Using the SPEC database, James Chambers, PhD, and colleagues published a high profile Health Affairs blog analyzing how US payers use step therapy protocols in their coverage of specialty drugs.
  • For more information about how to access the SPEC database, please contact James Chambers.
Global Health Update
  • To make it easier to compare cost-effectiveness analysis findings, CEVR has developed the online DALY Calculator (pictured left) that can convert outcomes expressed using disease-specific measures (e.g., cases of HIV) into DALYs. The DALY calculator can be used to re-express non-standard health economic measures (e.g., cost per case of HIV averted) to the standardized cost-per-DALY averted metric.

ICER Analysis
In our newest Health Affairs blog, Peter Neumann, PhD, Josh Cohen, PhD, and Madison Silver, BA, analyze 555 Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) panel votes over fours years (2014-2018), and while cost-effectiveness ratios generally align with the panels' perceived value, there are exceptions.
Featured Publications
Chambers JD, Kim DD, Pope EF, Graff JS, Wilkinson CL, Neumann PJ. Specialty drug coverage varies across commercial health plans in the US. Health Affairs 2018;37(7):1041–7.

Lavelle TA, D’Cruz BN, Mohit B, Ungar WJ, Prosser LA, Tsiplova K, Monserrat VL, Lin PJ. Family spillover effects in pediatric cost-utility analyses. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy 2018.

Neumann PJ, Cohen JT. QALYs in 2018—Advantages and concerns. JAMA 2018;319(24):2473.

Neumann PJ, Kim DD, Trikalinos TA, Sculpher MJ, Salomon JA, Prosser LA, Owens DK, Meltzer DO, Kuntz KM, Krahn M, Feeny D, Basu A, Russell LB, Siegel JE, Ganiats TG, Sanders GD. Future directions for cost-effectiveness analyses in health and medicine. Medical Decision Making 2018;38:767-77.

Neumann PJ, Weissman H. "The FDA’s new guidance on payer communications: Implications for real-world data and value-based contracts," Health Affairs Blog, July 17, 2018. 
Inaugural Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Paper of the Year
CEVR is proud to announce our inaugural Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) Paper of the Year Award . Health care policy makers are increasingly seeking evidence on the value of health care to inform clinical guidelines and reimbursement decisions. This award will highlight this important research and promote findings to a broad audience.

Visit our website to learn more about criteria, the selection process, and to submit or recommend a paper.
CEVR Team Updates
Flora Berklein, MPH
Research Assistant
Flora's work focuses on developing a patient-centered U.S. value framework for depression and investigating the cost-effectiveness of whole exome sequencing. Flora received a BA in Linguistics from Haverford College and her MPH from Tufts University School of Medicine.
Kristen Blanchard, BS
Administrative Assistant
Kristen provides general administrative support and office management tasks for the CEVR team. Her role includes logistical support for meetings, seminars, conferences, and travel. Kristen received a BS in Criminal Justice at Anna Maria College.
Xue (Snow) Feng, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow
Snow completed her PhD in Health Services and Outcomes Research at West Virginia University’s School of Pharmacy. At CEVR, Snow’s research focuses on cost-effectiveness studies for healthcare prioritization and resource allocation.
Nikki Margaretos, BA
Research Assistant
Nikki manages CEVR's Medicare National Coverage Determinations database and assists in maintaining the Specialty Drug Evidence and Coverage database. Her research focuses on the pricing and budget impact of specialty drug coverage decisions. Nikki received a BA in Economics from Tufts University.
Madison Silver, BA
Research Assistant
Madison’s research focuses on quantifying the value of pharmaceutical and medical device innovation. She helps to develop material for framework workshops and assists in maintaining CEVR’s cost-effectiveness databases. Madison received a BA in Economics and Community Health from Tufts University.
CEVR Opportunities
CEVR and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are pleased to announce a post-doctoral fellowship position that will focus on the economics of vaccination and infectious diseases. The fellowship’s expected start date is September 2019.

This two-year program, sponsored by GSK, will provide an excellent opportunity to gain unique and in-depth applied work experience in health and economic outcomes studies relating to vaccines.
Follow CEVR on Twitter for the latest CEA news and insights!