Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, Australia
Professor Andrew Searles is the strategic lead for the health economics unit at Hunter Medical Research Institute, Australia. Andrew’s work applies economic thinking to health-related issues. He is experienced in the conduct of economic evaluations including impact assessments. Andrew led the development of a national framework to evaluate health technology on behalf Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA). The framework is known as the “Framework to Assess the Impact from translational health research” (FAIT). Andrew has advised the National Health and Medical Council on impact metrics and, as part of his leadership of the national evaluation framework, he co-chaired an AHRA Working Group to improve the evaluation of health technology in Australia. He is currently leading projects to improve research translation and research impact and to improve access and use of health technology assessment at the local level.
In August 2018, Andrew was approached about the application of FAIT in programs of work in the US’s National Institutes of Health. Andrew has assisted respiratory clinicians to improve outcomes for cystic fibrosis patients with a rare gene mutation. In preparing a position paper for Cystic Fibrosis Australia, Andrew and colleagues presented an equity argument for why a new drug (Ivacaftor) should be listed on the PBS. Their argument was accepted, and the Minister for Health announced the listing of Ivacaftor for 1 December 2014. The work led by Andrew in 2018 to develop a national framework to improve the local level evaluation of healthcare is being implemented. With financial support from the Medical Research Future Fund, he is now implementing a number of recommendations, including leading a team of health economists who will be embedded in NSW local health districts from the second half of 2019.
Role in Centre of Excellence in Treatable Traits