By David Woods (

Newly-installed ISPOR president Diana Brixner, RPh, PhD, has put together a challenging agenda for the society during her term of office.

The central point of that agenda, she tells HOC, is to bridge the gap separating academics and outcomes researchers from the people who actually make economic decisions. Achieving that, she says, involves giving decision-makers a more active role on ISPOR committees in order to influence our studies

Dr. Brixner, a medicinal chemist and chair of the Department of Pharmacotherapy at the University of Utah, plans to increase even further ISPOR’s international presence and to strengthen the Society’s voice in global health policy issues. “We need to reach outward,” she says… expanding our presence into Eastern Europe, Latin America, Singapore, South Africa, and Latin America.

ISPOR’s North America meeting next year will be held in Toronto, while the European version is scheduled for Dublin this year and Athens next year. In fact, Dr. Brixner is headed to Athens shortly to work with the Greeks in jumpstarting an ISPOR chapter in that country and to lay the foundation for the November 2008 European conference.

The new president points to the fact that ISPOR has grown from 35 founders in one country in 1995, to more than 3300 members in 80 countries today. “We are viewed as the predominant society focused on patient outcomes, including economic, clinical and patient reported outcomes,” she says, adding that the organisation’s Good Research Practice Reports are used as guidance for research throughout the world; moreover, the ISPOR Medical Device and Diagnostic Outcomes Research book is nearing publication.

It epitomises another strong agenda item for the organisation – the need to continue to broaden the scope of its membership by embracing all aspects of health technology, including devices, orphan drugs, biologics, genomics, and diagnostics.