Introduction to Economic Evaluation for Health Technology Assessment (Cost Effectiveness Modelling for HTA)

Lecturer(s): Prof. David Meads, Prof. Bethany Shinkins, Prof. Dan Howdon, Dr. Giovanni Tramonti
Location: Lucerne


Please click here for the course outline.

The course builds upon a well-established course established through a collaboration between the University of Leeds (UK), University of Auckland (New Zealand), University of Alberta (Canada) and University of Edinburgh (UK). The course will introduce the concepts of HTA and economic evaluations in health covering the history of their development and rationale for their use. The use of HTA for policymaking and reimbursement will be covered and we will discuss alternative frameworks for economic evaluation. We will focus on quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), the cost-utility framework and decision modelbased analyses. We will discuss the rationale for the use of decision-analytic modelling. The course 3 will then introduce decision tree models and a particular case study in a diagnostic test context. We will then move onto introduce Markov models and spend more time exploring how these work and the information required to generate them. The outputs of economic evaluations will be discussed and we will cover the importance of uncertainty and how to assess this in sensitivity analyses. There will be hands-on exercises through-out the course to enable students to try out modelling in Excel and to generate results. You will construct a probabilistic model in Excel considering the nature of the data distributions for model parameters and generate and interpret the results from this. After introducing the concept of uncertainty in economic evaluations, we will go on to consider the implications of this information for decision making, the cost of making the wrong decision and value of additional research. As well as providing practical modelling experience, the course will introduce theories and technical terms used in HTA and there will be opportunities to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the available frameworks. We will cover emerging fields in HTA such as the use of real-world evidence and key debates such as: should we include spillover effects in economic evaluations?; how much should we be willing to pay for health gain (and how should we determine this)? Course practical exercise and solution Excel files are provided as is an exercise booklet.


  • Understand the concepts and rationale of HTA and types of economic evaluation
  • Understand when you would use a decision tree model and how they work
  • Understand when you would use a Markov model, how they work and how to use them to inform decision making
  • Appreciate the importance of uncertainty in economic evaluations and how this can be assessed
  • Be able to generate a probabilistic Markov model in Excel and produce and interpret outputs
  • Understand the concept of value of information and calculate this from probabilistic model results
  • Learn about key developments and debates in HTA including precision medicine, real-world evidence and the willingness to pay threshold


Local Coordinator: Stefan Boes


Tuition fee

Registration (see course list)


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