By David Woods, editor

Before embarking upon this project we wanted to get a solid grip on the issues that keep you awake at night … and how we can help resolve them.

So we asked several US and UK health economists, and found that insomnia appears to be an occupational hazard on both sides of the Atlantic. Among the causes of this restlessness were, in no particular order:

  • How to break down the firewall between health economists and marketing and sales.
  • How to eliminate the perception that health economics is an inexact science … and merely designed to justify and fulfil marketing’s predetermined objectives.
  • How to communicate what health economists do, simply and clearly, without giving away competitive intelligence.
  • How to gather case histories about who succeeded in getting a product accepted – and who didn’t; and why – to formulate a commercial strategy.
  • How to meet the challenge of developing a clear message in a variety of media for disparate audiences about the value and credibility of what health economists do.
  • How to zero-in on those journals that best communicate health economics and outcomes information in a less ‘dismal science’ mode – more upbeat and proactive.
  • How to disseminate health economists’ broader role in such areas as risk management, lifestyle, demographic, and technological factors affecting economic outcomes.
  • How to establish a more collegial role with medical liaison and healthcare development people in persuading hospitals, pharmacists, and payers to include an approved drug in their formulary.
  • How to prove efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a drug when many products are pretty much equal; the challenge of exploiting minimal differences, especially at a time when there’s a dearth of innovation in the pharma industry.
  • How to delegate the simple aspects of health economics, and concentrate on the more complex facets.
  • How health economists can educate themselves in global issues in healthcare.

Well, those are some of our findings; there were many others. Certainly enough to keep us busy … and to give you more than enough information and ideas – and concrete help – in communicating and validating your work. And, we hope, alleviating your nocturnal angst.