Persisting in a Pandemic State: ISPOR Moves Forward
Nancy S. Berg, CEO/Executive Director, ISPOR
While it is sometimes difficult at first to see opportunities and successes when you’re facing obstacles or complexities, they always exist. Even during a global pandemic when millions are affected, lives are lost, families and businesses suffer (and life just isn’t the same), I am proud and pleased that ISPOR continues to engage in and achieve its mission. Your Society continues to make positive impact and important change even as we move through and beyond the effects of COVID-19.
Even in the midst of the pandemic, 2021 was an active year for ISPOR. We produced 2 major virtual conferences and dozens of educational programs, including short courses and webinars. We successfully launched the new HEOR Solutions Center and announced a new ISPOR Science Strategy. With the commitment and engagement of its members in the hundreds of groups, committees, and chapters, ISPOR has remained active—ensuring that your Society’s impact on healthcare decision making was strengthened.
Throughout the pandemic, your Society has firmly positioned itself as a thought leader in the HEOR community, publishing many new ISPOR Reports in our journals and on our website. ISPOR’s special interest groups remain vibrant; our organization evolved to become more digital; and we are actively preparing a variety of scientific programs that will be delivered in person as well as virtually in 2022. ISPOR’s annual conferences will offer opportunities for both in-person and virtual attendance. Our ISPOR 2022 conference will be held May 15-18 in the Washington, DC, USA area and the ISPOR Europe 2022 conference is scheduled for 6-9 November in Vienna, Austria. ISPOR chapters are also planning some in-person meetings in 2022, advancing ISPOR’s mission at the local/regional levels.
"With the commitment and engagement of its members in the hundreds of groups, committees, and chapters, ISPOR has remained active—ensuring that your Society’s impact on healthcare decision making was strengthened." —Nancy S. Berg
In 2021, ISPOR produced several health policy webinars that updated members on major changes and challenges across the globe, and continued to build on its payer engagement strategies. The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Roundtables and Patient Representative Roundtables produced for each major region resulted in ongoing dialogue with several hundred HTA leaders and dozens of patient engagement organizations—just 2 examples of important multistakeholder discussions that are fundamental to ISPOR’s success.
ISPOR’s Real World Evidence (RWE) Initiative continues to progress. The objective of ISPOR’s RWE effort is to support the scientific priorities developed in 2020. Throughout the process, we have seen a straight path and eager collaborators around issues involving RWE that have resulted in some high-visibility invitations to speak at small and large virtual events and to actively engage with regulatory bodies, including both the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency, as well as important groups such as the US National Library of Medicine’s ClinicalTrials.gov. Additionally, ISPOR was recently invited to be a member of the European Network of Centres for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance Steering Committee. Discussions across stakeholder groups is paramount to ensure that all perspectives are included in key advancements and decisions around RWE. The Real-World Evidence Transparency Initiative has also recently launched the RWE Registry, which provides researchers with a fit-for-purpose platform to register their study designs—before they begin work—to facilitate the transparency needed to elevate the trust in the results. In 2022, ISPOR will continue to highlight RWE as part of its conference programs and enhance its communication and educational efforts around this important area. The ISPOR Real-World Evidence Special Interest Group is developing plans for a future survey of members regarding their support, concerns, and questions about study preregistration.
ISPOR’s publications continue to be the leading publishing platforms for health economics and outcomes research. In 2022, we anticipate 12 regular issues of Value in Health (plus 2 online conference abstract issues); 4 themed sections, and publication of 11 ISPOR Reports, including 6 Good Practices Reports, (one of which is the CHEERS 2022 update), 4 reports from special interest groups, and 1 from a working group. There will also be 6 issues of Value in Health Regional Issues (which now includes content from all regions in every issue); 6 issues of Value & Outcomes Spotlight, and 12 issues of the ISPOR’s new HEOR News Brief (whew!). Value in Health delivers a preeminent 5.725 impact factor, which represents a 20.6% increase over the previous year.
"I invite you to get involved in these or other efforts at your Society. ISPOR’s success depends on the leadership and support of its members." —Nancy S. Berg
Inside the operation at ISPOR, we are designing a new content strategy to ensure that delivery of the Society’s programs and discussions align not only with ISPOR’s Science Strategy themes, but also incorporate late-breaking issues, as well as evolving member interests and preferences. Development of eLibrary and eLearning offerings are on the 2022 agenda, as well as an expansion of efforts to increase collaboration and engagement with members through online communities. Online communities are evolving in participation and provide members with connections and information specific to interest areas. The new “All Member Community” planned for a mid-year launch will be a source of information-sharing and opportunity to dialogue with members and ISPOR leaders. You may have also noticed emails communicating opportunities to get involved. A new section on the ISPOR website lists volunteer and engagement opportunities—check this website often and communicate your interests.
Finally, ISPOR is sponsoring major activities in low- and middle-income countries and a Leadership Development Initiative that is being shaped to ensure that your Society has a robust pipeline of future leaders and diversity in its membership.
Despite the challenges and obstacles of living in a pandemic state, ISPOR moves forward. I invite you to get involved in these or other efforts at your Society. ISPOR’s success depends on the leadership and support of its members.