Senior Health Economist, Health Technology Assessment and Health Policy

Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Date of Posting: November 21, 2017
Start Date: January 1, 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter
Salary and Benefits: Competitive remuneration package
Deadline for Application: Posting will remain open until filled


Introduction:

The Alberta-based Institute of Health Economics (IHE) conveys evidence-based research on complex healthcare issues to provincial and national decision-makers in health policy and practice. The IHE is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives support from partners in government, academia, and industry, with key competencies in health economics and decision analytic modelling, health technology assessment (HTA), and knowledge transfer/exchange.

The IHE’s vision is to assist decision-makers in health policy and practice with results from economic evaluations and costing and cost-effectiveness analyses, and with syntheses of findings from research in HTA. The IHE’s core objectives are to:

  • support decision-making in health policy and practice with evidence from research in health economics and HTA;
  • assess the medical, economic, social, and ethical implications of both established and new health practices, procedures, and technologies; and
  • facilitate discussions and partnerships among government, academia, industry, and healthcare providers to address important issues in health care.


Strategic Vision:

After an extensive review and consultation process, the IHE has identified four strategic priorities for the next five years:

  1. HTA and Health Policy
  2. Innovation and Commercialization Support for Alberta small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  3. Capacity Building in health economics
  4. Development of Innovative Methods in economic evaluation and HTA

The IHE is the provincial HTA agency and has provided analytical support to the Government of Alberta decision-making processes for over a decade. HTA continues to be a fast-moving and high profile field. While the fundamental function of synthesizing evidence to support health system decision-making around investment and disinvestment remains, in the future we will be making much greater use of real-world evidence (RWE) and in-system evaluation, to support increasingly sophisticated reimbursement schemes. The IHE is committed to being at the forefront of the use of RWE and coverage with evidence development processes in Canada, to support prompt patient access to innovative therapies whilst protecting the financial sustainability of Canadian health care.

The Government of Alberta is committed to economic diversification, and the life sciences industries are seen as a central component of this agenda. The IHE is establishing a dedicated commercialization platform, which will provide early value engineered translation services to Alberta innovators. We will work closely with other business incubators such as TEC Edmonton and Innovate Calgary, supporting SMEs in characterizing the value proposition of their technologies, designing efficient research and development programs, and taking an evidence-based approach to go-no-go investment decisions.

Public and private sector demand for health economists outstrips supply. Compared to our economic peers, Canada has failed to put in place the necessary training capacity. The IHE is committed to developing, in collaboration with our public, academic, and private sector partners, a suite of health economics training up to and including graduate programs. The suite will be a mixture of on-line and in-person courses, aimed at consumers of health economics evidence, analysts using health economics techniques for their jobs, and individuals wishing to pursue a career in health economics research.

The nature of technologies that health systems are being asked to evaluate is constantly changing, as is the evidence base that is provided by their developers to support their case for reimbursement. At the same time, the types of reimbursement options that health systems are using are also changing. As a result, the information needs of decision-makers are changing. In many cases, the analytical techniques required to meet these information needs have not been developed. As the provincial HTA agency, with strong ties to national and international researchers working in this space, the IHE is determined to be at the forefront of work developing, testing, and disseminating these new analytical methods.

Following the appointment of Dr. Christopher McCabe as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, the IHE is seeking to appoint two Senior Health Economists for the next phase of our development as a leading health economics and policy research organization.


Roles and Activities:

The HTA team at the IHE undertakes evaluations of the full range of health technologies including drugs, devices, talking therapies, and services. The Senior Health Economist provides leadership on health economics components of all the HTA team’s projects. They also act as point of contact between the IHE and government, academia, professional societies,andnot-for-profit organizations.

The successful candidate will have opportunities to contribute to the Development of Innovative Methods and Capacity Building work streams. For interested candidates, there are opportunities for adjunct appointments at the Universities of Alberta and Calgary.

The position duties will include:

  • Leading the development of health economics project proposals
  • Supporting the HTA team in developing HTA project proposals
  • Developing work plans for the successful execution of commissioned work
  • Project management of commissioned health economics projects
  • Health economic personnel management to support recruitment and retention
  • Leadership of in-house staff development health economics training programs
  • Development of health economics training programs for clients and external partners

The post holder will be supported by the IHEs in-house administration, communications, and events management teams as required.


Qualifications:

The successful candidate will have a PhD in Economics/Health Economics or a closely related field, and a minimum of 8 years post-PhD experience, including team leadership responsibilities. Excellent verbal and written communication skills and strong inter-personal skills are essential. Applicants with a specialization in health econometrics, decision analytic cost-effectiveness analyses, or economic evaluations alongside clinical trials would be particularly valuable. Evidence of successful working in a multidisciplinary team is essential. Knowledge of Canadian health care systems would be advantageous. We welcome enquiries from individuals who have worked in commercial, public, and academic settings.


Enquiries:

The IHE is located in downtown Edmonton and provides an excellent working environment. This position comes with a very competitive salary and benefits package. Interested individuals are encouraged to submit a cover letter and CV and contact Dr. McCabe’s office ([email protected]) to arrange an informal discussion prior.

Preference will be given to Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada.


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