Effectively evaluating the economic benefit of precision medicine

Precision medicine is taking us from a one-size-fits-all approach to using patient-specific information—including genomics, clinical and administrative data—to guide healthcare decisions tailored to a specific patient. It is driving improved outcomes through access to more effective treatments earlier, therefore reducing economic and health service burdens.

Professor Maarten IJzerman_web

However, these benefits also present unique challenges for the economic evaluation of precision medicine, with traditional models – built around cohorts of patients – being unable to capture the nuances and dynamic pathways presented.

Dynamic simulation models are increasingly used in the evaluation of health service delivery because they allow for analysis at the patient level. These models have the ability to capture intervention pathways in complex systems, taking the healthcare delivery component into account.

A recent paper published in Value in Health is making the case for simulation models, because they can reflect genomics driven dynamic treatment pathways, incorporate clinical evidence for improved outcomes, and quantify the uncertainly around the evidence collected.

Professor Maarten IJzerman, an author on the paper-based at the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research, said that though there are challenges the use of simulation models will help to inform decision-makers on efficient allocation of healthcare resources.

"With the ability for patient-level analysis of care pathways and dealing with the complexities of multiple tests, we have a fantastic opportunity to more widely utilise simulation modelling for precision medicine.

“This will help us understand the complexity of precision oncology and support our research into the value of complex genomic testing for improved treatment selection or for monitoring progressive disease.

“This aligns very well with our work in Professor Sean Grimmond’s Precision Oncology program, such as iPREDICT and the Illumina-UoM partnership.”

More information is also available from Professor IJzerman’s Cancer Health Services Research group and Dr Koen Degeling, a simulation modelling expert, will present opportunities in the upcoming UMCCR seminar on 22 April 2020 – keep an eye on our website for details.