Peter Davey MD, FRCP
2002-2003 ISPOR President
ISPOR is an incredibly active society and
continues to grow. First, nearly 1200 people registered for the Annual
International Meeting this year. Added to the 900 who attended the European
Congress in November 2002, that means over 2000 people attended our meetings
in the past year. Not content with that, we are holding our First Asia
Pacific Conference in Kobe, Japan
1-3 September. Second, we now have 23 Student Chapters, nearly twice as many
as this time last year. Third, we had four very well attended Special
Interest Group (SIG) Forums at the Annual Meeting, where the SIGs set out
their very ambitious plans for activity over the next year (check out the
ISPOR website for more details). Finally our membership continues to grow
and now stands over 2050 members.
So, plenty of activity, but is it taking us in the right direction? The
ISPOR website hosts a document called ISPOR Vision 2005. Written in 1998
after the ISPOR Strategic Planning Retreat, the document sets out a vision
for “a truly international multi-disciplinary professional membership
society which advances/drives the policy, science, and practice of health
outcomes research.” Vision 2005 has some very specific suggestions for where
we should be in 2005 and I am very pleased to report that in the last year
we have taken several significant steps along the road.
“ISPOR’s Annual Meeting will continue to be THE
HEALTH OUTCOMES event of the year.”
Well, nearly 1200 people clearly think that the Annual Meeting is the place
to be, but back in September 1998 ISPOR only had the Annual Meeting. The
first European Congress in Cologne (November 1998) was still two months
away. Attendance at the annual European meeting has more than doubled since
1998 and now we are taking ISPOR to Japan. On this one I think that ISPOR in
2003 is already way ahead of the Vision, not content with hosting THE Health
Outcomes event of the year, we are holding THREE.
“ISPOR will offer an extensive and diverse series of educational tools
and opportunities for the sector; the media for distance-based learning will
I announced the establishment of a Learning Outcomes Task Force in my first
Fireside Chat, Lieven Annemans agreed to Chair the Task Force and we signed
up a core group of 16 people at the Rotterdam Congress. When we asked you,
the members, who would be interested, 160 people signed up. Not so much a
Task Force, more an Armada. The Core Group is working on a first draft of a
document defining the learning outcomes for Technical Skills and for
Ethical, Social and Professional Skills for three levels of expertise
(Awareness, Application and Conceptual) for six different audiences:
- Pharmaceutical Industry
- P&T Members responsible for evaluation of
pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research
- Outcomes Researchers
- Health Policy-makers/funders
- Health system Administration
We will share this first draft with the rest
of the Task Force and aim to hold a meeting to develop case studies for
learning and assessment in 2004.
A second new initiative from ISPOR’s Education Committee is the Internet
Education Steering Committee, chaired by Tom Grapes with 9 additional
members. The Steering Committee is working on an e-questionnaire for ISPOR
members, so get ready to respond. This questionnaire will provide the
Committee with information about demand with a second group to investigate
supply, specifically identifying current Internet training programs in the
area and determining if any certification programs are available.
Education is an integral part of the plans for two of the ISPOR SIGS: the
Medication Compliance SIG (Education MDED Working Group co-chaired by Andrea
Adamus and Hieu Tran) and the Managed Care_Pharmacy Benefit Management (MC_PBM)
SIG (MC_PBM Working Group chaired by Jon Clouse). Both of these groups will
work closely with the Education Committee and its Task Forces.
All of this activity builds on the established success of ISPOR’s Short
Courses, which continue to grow in scope, ambition, attendance, and quality.
ISPOR will assemble and disseminate all relevant reports of research and
other relevant progress in the Health Outcomes field.
ISPOR’s website is a great source of information about outcomes research.
More importantly, it is being used; there were over a million hits in the
month of April alone. Two of the SIGs have plans for exciting new features.
The MC_PBM SIG Research Digest Working Group, chaired by Dennis Raisch, are
working on a listing and systematic summary of managed care outcomes
research papers for the ISPOR website. They are already well into their
initial identification and review of original research articles from NLM
Gateway and aim to have the first version of the ISPOR Managed Care Research
Digest database available in July 2003. The Bibliography Working Group of
the Medication Compliance SIG is co-chaired by Jasmanda Wu and Christine Fay
Amorosi. They already have a page on the ISPOR website where they will post
their analysis of the literature in a total of seven bibliographies. This
will allow the user to analyze by year, disease, costs, and implications and
will also provide an overall review by John Urquhart.
ISPOR’s Quality of Life (QoL) Special Interest Group have established a
Population Health Working Group (chaired by Eva Lydick) who held their first
meeting in May 2003. They agreed to assemble the sources of data and
agencies developing and using summary population health measures as the
first step towards bridging the gap between the development and use of these
measures by policy makers. The QoL SIG also has an Analysis and
Interpretation Working Group (chaired by Mike Friedman) who will develop a
web-based digest of articles on issues such as best practice, dealing with
missing data and common issues on interpretation. Finally the Values and
Valuation Working Group (chaired by John Brazier) aims to create a web-based
V&V Digest on the ISPOR website to identify the best methods of achieving
valuation of QoL measures.
Another key issue for the future will be cross-cultural adaptation of
outcomes research and the QoL SIG has established a Cross-Cultural and
Translational Adaptation Working Group (chaired by Diane Wild).
ISPOR will be seen as THE SOURCE for the most current and credible
information about the field and its science. VALUE IN HEALTH will be seen as
THE JOURNAL in which to see our science and will be widely read and
referenced by constituents and target audiences.
In the highly competitive world of scientific medical journals, Value in
Health editor-in-chief Jo Mauskopf and her team have done a magnificent job
in soliciting editorials and commentary for each issue to keep the Journal
on par with, and at times, ahead of the competition. The next target is to
build on Value in Health’s NLM listing by getting it included in the Science
Citation Index by 2005. We all need to cite ViH articles in our papers in
order to start from as high a base as possible.
Value in Health is the flagship but we should not forget all of the other
work that ISPOR does on communication through the excellent website and of
course ISPOR Connections.
ISPOR will fund (or coordinate the funding), commission, and on occasion
actually conduct research, particularly when no single interest or funder
can achieve the task and there is consensus on the need for answers with an
emphasis on continual improvement of methodology.
The MC_PBM SIG has a Research Agenda Working Group, chaired by Peter Neumann
and a Research Network Working Group, chaired by Barbara Edelman Lewis. The
Research Agenda Working Group is planning a set of papers to review the
application of the results of outcomes research in managed care from the
perspectives of clinicians, industry, patients, health plans, employers,
government and PBMs. Key issues will include trust, defining the state of
the art by creating reference cases as templates for managed care and budget
impact analysis and analysis of the use of research in benefit design. At
the same time the Research Network Working Group will use an ISPOR member
questionnaire to stimulate to encourage research collaboration and
The ISPOR Board has included applications for external research funding as
an explicit component in the job plan for the ISPOR Treasurer, who will take
office in 2004.
ISPOR will identify and support (with resources and advocacy) centers of
excellence to ensure a distributed capacity to train the next generation of
outcomes researchers ...support faculty development and encourage, provide
or oversee fellowships for individual training programs.
The Fellowship Task Force has already fostered successful internships and
initiated ISPOR PRAP (Professional Recruitment Assistance Program), an
increasingly high profile part of every ISPOR meeting and the website. The
Website hosted 100 job advertisements last year and PRAP at the Annual
Meeting facilitated 50 candidates to be interviewed for 16 positions. The
work of the Learning Outcomes Task Force will achieve consensus about the
skills that are essential to pharmacoeconomics and outcomes researchers in
I started by mentioning the dramatic increase in Student Chapters as
evidence of ISPOR’s continued growth. Take a look at the Student Corner in
this newsletter to find out more about their innovation over the past year,
including their first Student Leadership Retreat, the creation of a Student
Council, staging Mock Interviews at the Annual Meeting and forming a link
with EPSA (European Pharmacy Students Association). We still only have one
Student Chapter in Europe but that is going to change as Zeba Khan is now
based in Basel, Switzerland with Novartis.
Quality assurance in the sector will be needed. ISPOR will develop and apply
criteria for programs of excellence and professional career progression,
including credentialing of personal incremental competency building.
Membership may include a Fellows status for those fulfilling credentialed
training or demonstrating such agreed competencies.
ISPOR started by putting its own house in order, including quality assurance
as a key part of the ISPOR Short Courses by creating Short Course
Development and Quality Assurance Task Forces for the Annual Meeting and
European Congress. The Fellowship Task Force is investigating the
feasibility and legality of credentialing, either of courses or of
individuals. ISPOR could act as a portal for distance learning modules and
we are already in discussions with the University of Minnesota College of
Pharmacy to host their pharmacoeconomic courses.
ISPOR’s Health Sciences Committee’s Task Forces have produced a Code of
Ethics (chaired by Frank Palumbo) and three excellent papers on good
research practice in modeling (chaired by Milt Weinstein), analysis of
retrospective data (chaired by Brenda Motheral) and communicating the
results of research to decision makers (chaired by Mike Drummond). Once
again the SIGs are making important contributions: the Medication Compliance
SIG has established an Analyses Standards Working Group, chaired by Michael
Nichol and the Managed Care PBM SIG has a Research Language Working Group,
chaired by Elinor Chumney. They will be working from a very solid base with
the imminent publication of Healthcare Cost, Quality, and Outcomes: the
ISPOR Book of Terms, which will replace the ISPOR Lexicon First Edition both
in currency and scope. The co-editors (Marc Berger, Kerstin Bingefors, Edwin
Hedbloom, Chris Pashos and George Torrance) have done a fantastic job
together and the SIGs all contributed material, notably the QoL SIG Concepts
and Definitions Working Group (chaired by Margaret Rothman). However, it was
you the members who really made it possible, as over 200 ISPOR members
contributed as authors and reviewers.
Compatible with all these roles, the need to be known as independent and
credible, and the will of a membership association, ISPOR will advocate for
progress in the field and enlightened public policies internationally to
achieve this ISPOR’s
international advocacy is well established in Europe, with Chapters in
Poland and Russia and the ever-growing annual European meeting. Membership
reflects ISPOR’s increasingly international profile; 40% of our current
members are from outside the USA and it cannot be long before that
proportion exceeds 50%. For the first time we held the 2002 ISPOR Strategic
Planning Retreat in Europe because half of the ISPOR leadership who attended
the Retreat were based in Europe. Currently 14% of our members live outside
Europe and North America and this proportion will grow following the ISPOR
First Asia-Pacific Conference effort of the ISPOR Chinese Chapter and
building on Eva Lydick’s invited visit to China, hosted by the Chinese
Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance.
Marilyn Dix Smith represented ISPOR at the FDA on April 10 2003, providing
comments on the FDA Concept Paper on Risk Management Programs and
emphasizing the key importance of outcomes assessment in the development and
evaluation of a risk management plan.
The Population Health Working Group aims to build links with the US National
Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control, Statistics
Canada, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank. To this end, the
working group convened a 1-day workshop on Summary Measures of Population
Health just prior to the Annual Meeting, with a focus on “Bridging the Gap”
between developers of such measures and decision-makers responsible for
allocation of resources on a community or population level.
ISPOR is a membership organization and makes a strong commitment to extend
its membership. By the year 2005, ISPOR will have more than 4000 members
from more than 50 countries, with a balance including at least 20% of
members each from among Academia, Practice, Industry, and Public and Private
ISPOR’s membership has nearly doubled since September 1998 (from 1200 to
2050) and we do have members in 56 countries with a very even balance (35%
Industry, 30% Academia, 23% Practice & Government and 22% from Research
Organizations). Getting 4000 members by 2005 is a tall order (anybody want
to own up to setting that target?) However, what is important is our
continued growth in terms of numbers, geographical spread, and range of
ISPOR will have strategic alliances and partnering agreements with other
leadership organizations in the field or with specialized health care
We have established a Strategic Outreach Committee, chaired by Mike Drummond
to help us fulfill this part of the vision. We continue to have ad-hoc
associations with other societies. For example, ISPOR co-sponsored a meeting
with ISPE at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh on “Drug
Treatment: Maximizing Benefit and minimizing risk” on 14 April 2003. A full
report of this meeting will be published in the Journal of the Royal College
of Physicians and we will keep you informed about progress via the ISPOR
website. AMCP (the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy) now provides their
Journal free to all US ISPOR members and we want to build stronger links
with AMCP and their work on drug formularies.
The future lies with Sean
Sullivan, our new President, and you can find out more from his Incoming
Presidential Address in the next issue of ISPOR Connections. Sean has
already established a Vision 2010 Committee, co-chaired by Marc Berger and
Jerry Oster and you can keep up with their work on the ISPOR website. They
aim to have a draft report ready by January 2004 with a final report ready
for the 2004 AGM.
The ISPOR Board of Directors approved the Vision 2010 Committee in November
2002. At the same time we recognized the need to develop a plan for
implementation of the ISPOR Vision 2005, through an ISPOR Vision
Implementation Committee. This will be chaired by the Past-President and
will include the immediate Past President as a member, which basically means
that I will be continuing to work on this with Eva Lydick and Sean Sullivan
over the next two years. We would like to hear from you about the ISPOR
Vision 2005 and the work that has yet to be done. We are almost there in
most of the key areas but I would identify three for further attention:
1. Credentialing of individuals, courses, and institutions.
2. ISPOR’s role in conducting and communicating research.
3. Extending ISPOR’s influence on decision-making and on education outside