ISPOR 2024: Key Takeaways From Leading Speakers


Session speakers at the 2024 meeting of ISPOR—The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research share their favorite parts of the conference.

At the 2024 meeting of ISPOR—The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research, we spoke with experts in the field of health economics about their key takeaways from the event:

  • Phaedra Corso, PhD, associate vice president for research, Indiana University
  • Seth Berkowitz, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Inma Hernandez, PharmD, PhD, professor at the University of California, San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Kimberly Westrich, MA, chief strategy officer of the National Pharmaceutical Council
  • William Padula, PhD, MSc, MS, assistant professor of pharmaceutical and health economics, University of California Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


What is your favorite thing about the ISPOR 2024 Annual Meeting?

Corso: What I like about the ISPOR conference is that it's a unique blend of participants. You have lots of folks here from industry, from pharma, but you have people here from public health, and we're all interested in the same thing, which is improvement in patient outcomes to inform policy making. So, that's always exciting, to get to meet people from other sectors that have a similar goal.

Berkowitz: Something that I really liked about the ISPOR conference so far is just how broad-minded everyone is about thinking about the concept of health. As we all know, it really is a multifaceted thing that can mean different things to different people. Just getting a lot of different perspectives on what is important, how we measure changes, how we should approach trying to make those changes has been really inspiring, and something that I've learned a lot from just in talking with other attendees.

Hernandez: I thought it was a very nice discussion of the consequences of the Inflation Reduction Act. I think many of us in our different jobs have spent a lot of time thinking about it, so it was very nice to come together as a community to exchange our interpretation of what's happening in real time. Because right now is when the first drugs have been negotiated. I quite enjoyed that, but I also realized that that's the field I'm working in, so I may be a little bit biased.

Westrich: I have been coming to ISPOR for almost 25 years now. I can remember when ISPOR was very small in Crystal City, [Virginia]. It was dynamic, it was exciting, and watching ISPOR grow over these years has just been phenomenal. We had a couple of years there during the pandemic where we didn't have the face-to-face interaction, and I appreciate it now on a level that I didn't appreciate it before. Being here, interacting with researchers that I've worked with for decades, interacting with students and the next generation of young researchers, and finding out about their passion and what's exciting to them, hearing about the latest in value assessment methods, bringing employers into the conversation here for value assessment, all of those things have been so energizing and so exciting for me. It's just been fantastic to be here in person with everyone in Atlanta.

Padula: I have a lot of very positive things to say about the ISPOR community. I think when you look at the history, health economists have always acted on their own that, in a way, medical cost-effectiveness analysis and health technology assessment can be self-serving to our research field. That's no longer the case. There are real consequences of the work that we do in ensuring that patients have access to care. What I always like to teach my students at the university or with the people that I collaborate with in industry and in other sectors, of course, is telling them that medical cost-effectiveness analysis can be a tool for good. When we can find solutions that are cost-effective, we should get access to patients for that. That means improving equitable access to health care, especially.

So, I think the ISPOR community is great because it's bringing all of these stakeholders together under one roof to address these methodological issues and make medical cost-effectiveness analysis part of health technology assessment, rather than trying to isolate it from that process. And therefore, the future, as we see more innovation, there will naturally be more expensive health technologies and the ISPOR community will be the right place to sort out how we can afford to allocate resources for all these solutions for patients.

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