Dr Lou Garrison on the Layout of ISPOR 2021, Sessions to Look For

Lou Garrison, PhD, professor emeritus in the Department of Pharmacy, University of Washington, previews the layout of the virtual 2021 ISPOR annual conference and the myriad of upcoming discussions.

Lou Garrison, PhD, is a professor emeritus in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Washington.


As a past president of ISPOR, what are some takeaways that you hope participants and audience members gain from this year’s conference?

If you look at the program, you'll see that this is a dynamic field and we're being challenged at every margin. From information technology to gene therapy to digital devices/digital health. And interestingly, there are I think 34 pre-release sessions that you can listen to. It's like everything you ever wanted to know about HEOR [health economics outcomes research] is there.

Now, if you'd gone to the meeting, you couldn't have gone to 34 sessions. Now you can use these 34 sessions between now and the end of June, maybe as a sleep aid but certainly as an informational aid, because it's just fascinating when I look at the list of topics–the 34, from employer engagement to patient engagement to emerging methods. So, there's just a wealth of information in the pre-release and then not to mention those sessions at the meeting that are going to be very good, I'm sure.

Can you speak on any discussions or sessions you will be looking forward to hearing at the conference?

Well, I look forward to all of this, honestly, but let me say that we have 3 excellent plenary sessions on issues about lessons from operating in the COVID-19 area, which certainly tested the bounds of our system, as well as our methods.

One of the sessions is all about public health and economics, which is really speaking to that. And then the final plenary, stepping up to the challenge, we have a stellar group of people like Robert Califf, MD, former head of the FDA, and other thought leaders to speak to what we can do as a system.

So, that's going to be a good way to end on the third day, but we also have a fourth day because of the uniqueness of the Zoom sessions. So, there's just a wealth of things for attendees and participants to join into. I look forward to being a small part of that, but looking forward to really looking at all of that myself. I would encourage others to do likewise.