Health economics

Have I thought this through?

Of the many phrases and idioms in the English language, I think “have you thought this through” is one of my favourites — perhaps it’s the allitteration or that, if you’re not a native English speaker, you kind of have to concentrate to say it properly, with all the “h” sounds… And I often find myself wondering whether I’ve actually thought things through. Although, technically, that’s supposed to be my job — thinking things through and using (rigorously Bayesian) decision theory to make decisions…

New dates for the summer school

We’re nearly ready to advertise the new edition of our Florence summer school on “Bayesian methods in health economics”. This year, we’ve decided to change slightly the timing and we’ll have it from 20-24 July 2020. The the main set up is still unchanged, with its residential nature and the amazing location of the Centro Studi. After a few years in which for various reasons we’ve had to slightly change our team, we may be able to eventually revert to the full squad, which is very exciting!

Sharing (slides) is caring...

Earlier in November, I went to Copenhagen for the ISPOR conference. The first time I did go was in 2002 and for a while, I kind of lost interest (although I have still gone, occasionally), because I thought that the quality was just not great. BUT: in the past few years, I have to say I have enjoyed it massively and I have noticed a big improvement in the level of the talks/workshops — not all that you see there is outstanding, but then again, what’s the conference where this happens?

Workshop at UCL

Next week, we’ll have the pleasure to host Mike Paulden, James O’Mahony and Chris Sampson. Mike is coming back to the UK in the run-up to the holidays and so we jumped on the suggestion that they would be willing to come and give a talk on their work on appropriate approaches to setting the cost-effectiveness threshold — this is something we discussed a few years back in another one of our Christmas time seminars…

R for trial and model-based cost-effectiveness analysis

29-30 June 2020, University College London Training event (29 June): Torrington (1-19) 113 - Public Cluster, 1-19 in Torrington Place (, University College London, United Kingdom Main workshop (30 June): Room G12, 1-19 in Torrington Place (, University College London, United Kingdom. Background and objectives It is our pleasure to announce a workshop and training event on the use of R for trial and model-based cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA).

Travel man

In the past couple of weeks, I have been doing lots of (mainly) work-related travelling — before you ask, that’s not me in the photo. But it’s not a (too) distant version of me either… Last week, I was in NYC to run a training course on Bayesian methods in health economics — kind of a shorter/condensed version of our summer school (incidentally, although the website is currently still pointing to last June’s edition, we’ve now finalised the dates for 2020.

Short course: Bayesian methods in health economics

26-28 November 2019, ICON Plc, Stockholm office Instructor: Gianluca Baio (UCL) Lecture topics Day 1 - Introduction to Bayesian modelling and application to health economic evaluation Start End Topic Description 10:00 11:00 Lecture 1. Intro to Bayesian modelling The Bayesian paradigm - expressing uncertainty using probabilities. Overview of probability distributions for different types of quantity. Predicting data with uncertain parameters. Introduction to Monte Carlo sampling in BUGS.

To do list

-- Over the summer, I’ve had several interesting discussion with colleagues, working/using/trying out some of our packages, including BCEA, survHE and SWSamp. Joke Bilcke (to be honest, I’m not sure this is the best link to her webpage, but I hope it is!) contacted me to suggest a couple of changes in BCEA. In particular, she has pointed out that when doing an analysis for multiple comparisons (which in this context simply means that there are more than 2 interventions being assessed), then the standard analysis considers by default pairwise comparisons.

Health economics training in the Autumn

I’m more or less back full time from an interesting summer break — Marta and I decided that going to a conference two 7-hours flight away, with two children (7 and not even 2 years old) was, if not a good idea, something we ought to try. In the event, it did go well, I think — we spent a bit of time visiting Malaysia and then “attended” the ISI World Conference.

Huffing and puffing

I kind of feel like Mark in Peep Show, when he pretended he was fit and able to do jogging with Big Suze and after only a minute or so he ends up nearly vomiting… BUT: the rush in the past few weeks has been worth it, I think. First I did my talk at O’Bayes — I showed some of the work on VoI and while preparing my slides spending waaay too much time photoshopping Rev Bayes into a St Patrick’s crowd: