Conference and Professional Development Grant recipient: Jody Church

29 November 2013
Photograph of Jody Church

Research Fellow Jody Church took her expertise in health economic evaluation to the  International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) 18th Annual International Meeting in New Orleans, thanks to a Conference and Professional Development Grant from the TCRN. A researcher at the UTS Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation (CHERE), Church developed a poster presentation on the economic evaluation of various treatments for patients with Barrett’s oesophagus, a serious complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease that leads to increased risk of oesophageal cancer.

“The poster presentation gave a rundown of what we discovered about the cost-effectiveness of radio frequency ablation compared to just surveillance in those that have Barrett’s oesophagus,” Church says.

After submitting the poster to a range of conferences, Church was accepted to deliver a presentation at not one but two major events in the USA – the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) conference in Florida, and the ISPOR 18th Annual International Meeting in New Orleans – both of which fell on the same day. Church chose to attend the ISPOR event, sending a second copy of the poster to the Florida conference in the care of a physician acquaintance who was already attending.

Attending the ISPOR event gave Church access to leading researchers in her field, as well as exposing her to new information on statistical considerations and improved methodologies for pharmacoeconomic reporting. ISPOR also maintains a database of international pharmaeconomic guidelines  for use by researchers around the world.

“The appeal of the ISPOR Conference is that while the focus is on pharmacoeconomics, the topics expand to any health technology, really. They also have great courses on modelling techniques and health economic methods,” she says.

“The presentations at ISPOR tend to be of very high quality – you learn a lot about data analysis and what other people are doing in the same field. There were also other cancer related posters , so I could see how other people are implementing cancer data and using different modelling techniques to get a better estimate of the cost effectiveness of interventions in cancer research.”

Health economics plays an important role in the development of translational cancer research by providing an evidence base to underpin health care policy decisions. Church, along with her colleagues at CHERE, drives a range of projects focused on quantifying the economic efficacy of trials for a range of public and private sector clients, including the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Grant snapshot 

Funding round: Round 1, 2013
Conference: ISPOR 18th Annual International Meeting 
Location: New Orleans, USA
Objective: Poster presentation