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MA; MSc; PhD
My work at CASMI as a health economist and mixed methods researcher, focuses on patient access to cancer drugs in the UK. Cancer drug funding policy has been a controversial and rapidly changing field, with strong public reactions when new, high-priced cancer drugs are not accepted for funding in the NHS. A range of policy initiatives have been implemented over recent years, including special consideration for drugs for rare conditions or that treat patients with limited life expectancy, and the ring-fenced Cancer Drugs Fund in England. Continued pressure from patients, advocacy groups and pharmaceutical industry, combined with financial challenge in the NHS, mean that processes for making funding decisions continue to be debated. CASMI's work aims to inform policy, to improve appraisal systems and ensure fairness to all stakeholders. An important element of that is making sure the systems reflect society's preferences for how they wish to see healthcare money spent. I used literature reviews as well as qualitative and quantitative research to explore public preferences for health care to different patient groups, looking behind the disease label (such as 'cancer') to the features of particular illnesses. Funding decisions are made by individual countries, including the devolved nations of the UK, so it's not uncommon for a drug to be available in one country but not in its immediate neighbours. I have analysed changes to the decision-making processes across the UK, leading to understanding of cross-border inequities in access. Further, with changes to the Cancer Drugs Fund announced last year, I analysed past appraisals of cancer drugs for funding to understand their likely impact, and we continue to monitor the effects of that reform. My work has also included international benchmarking of key elements of funding decision processes, such as engagement of patients, pricing negotiation, and cost-effectiveness thresholds, and these analyses have been important in framing policy and priorities. Before joining CASMI, I had a commercial career in consumer goods and medicines product development, and worked as a freelance researcher.
The ‘molecularly unstratified’ patient: a focus for moral, psycho-social and societal research
Hordern JWS. et al, (2017), Biomedicine Hub
Cancer drug funding decisions in Scotland: impact of new end-of-life, orphan and ultra-orphan processes.
Morrell L. et al, (2017), BMC Health Serv Res, 17
Does the Public Prefer Health Gain for Cancer Patients? A Systematic Review of Public Views on Cancer and its Characteristics.
Morrell L. et al, (2017), Pharmacoeconomics, 35, 793 - 804
Pricing and reimbursement experiences and insights in the European Union and the United States: Lessons learned to approach adaptive payer pathways.
Faulkner SD. et al, (2016), Clin Pharmacol Ther, 100, 730 - 742
Cancer as the “perfect storm”? A qualitative study of public attitudes to health conditions
Morrell L. et al, Health Science Reports