ISPOR in the Time of Corona
Our whole world has been turned upside down by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and the exponential increases in cases and fatalities attributable to COVID-19, the disease to which it gives rise. No person, family, community, or country is immune, and at the time of writing, it is clear that things will get far worse before they will even begin to get better—for most countries, there is currently no light at the end of the tunnel.
"No person, family, community, or country is immune, and at the time of writing, it is clear that things will get far worse before they will even begin to get better—for most countries, there is currently no light at the end of the tunnel."
Although the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic promises to be immense, many of us in the ISPOR community are fortunate enough to be able to maintain our current employment and carry out our business relationships virtually, interacting with one another via videoconferencing technologies and exchanging work products through email. In this regard, we should consider ourselves lucky. But it’s a decidedly unlucky situation for those of us who were looking forward to convening this May in Orlando, Florida for ISPOR 2020, which of course has been cancelled. All of us will have to do our best to make “Virtual ISPOR 2020” a productive and fruitful online event.
Value & Outcomes Spotlight prides itself on being agile in the face of rapidly changing circumstances and we have put that into practice in the current issue. Our planned theme is the state of health technology assessment (HTA), and we have the usual feature article providing a global overview of HTA practices, with an accompanying By the Numbers piece highlighting some interesting comparative statistics across countries. We also have a variety of HEOR articles of interest, encompassing such topics as statistical handling of missing data in outcomes research, methods for addressing treatment switching in comparative effectiveness research, and the use of patient-reported outcomes to give voice to the patient perspective in HTA.
"Value & Outcomes Spotlight prides itself on being agile in the face of rapidly changing circumstances and we have put that into practice in the current issue."
In addition to all that, we have scrambled to assemble a wide range of content specific to COVID-19. This begins with an insightful essay by ISPOR President Nancy Devlin, PhD culminating in a call to action for those of us in the HEOR community to respond to this global crisis. We also have a first-person perspective from Siying Zou, PhD, who lives and works in the United States but grew up in Wuhan, China, where the virus originated. She shares the anguish of hearing the news of her mother becoming ill with COVID-19 and details the difficult patient journey that has affected her entire family. Finally, our Q&A section includes 2 interviews of interest, one with Christian Lindmeier, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO), and the other with Mirjam Kretzschmar, PhD, an infectious disease modeler with the University Medical Centre Utrecht in The Netherlands and a member of the ISPOR Modeling Task Force.
All of us at Value & Outcomes Spotlight encourage you to stay safe, continue to practice social distancing, and look to provide help where help is needed as we “pull together by staying apart” during these difficult times.
David Thompson, PhD
Value & Outcomes Spotlight