I am a health economics lecturer within the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology. My research focuses on evaluating the value for money of public health interventions for infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). I specialize in performing costings of healthcare interventions, cost of illness analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis. I work on projects on a wide range of infectious diseases (including neglected tropical diseases, dengue, Hep C, HPV, hospital-acquired infections, and tetanus). As well as health economic analysis I also specialize in dynamic transmission modelling. I was previously the lead health economist at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) based in Vietnam, establishing their health economic research team. The goal of my research career is to use health economics to help optimise healthcare policy in low and middle-income countries.
Particular areas of focus of my research include evaluating the cost/cost-effectiveness of large scale preventative interventions (such as mass drug treatment) and how these are influenced by economies of scale and accounting for the costs incurred by patients/informal caregivers in LMIC settings.
I co-lead the health economics module within Imperial’s Global Master of Public Health and continue to teach on the MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford.
Current projects my team are working/collaborating on:
Evaluating the cost and cost-effectiveness of preventive dengue interventions: I am currently working with the World Mosquito Program to investigate the cost and cost-effectiveness of Wolbachia replacement interventions as a form of dengue control.
The foundation and use of return on investment analysis: The return on investment (ROI) metric is increasingly being used for evaluating the value for money of public health interventions. However, in practice, there is notable methodological variation in these calculations of ROI. We are conducting a scoping review to investigate how the uses, terminology and methodology surrounding recent studies reporting the ROI metric to evaluate a healthcare intervention.
Costs of critical care and economic burden incurred by informal caregivers: The costs of ICU patients with critical illness are rising quickly in Vietnam, but there are limited data on this area. We are exploring the economic burden of critically ill patients at the ICU of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HCMC, Vietnam) with a focus on dengue, sepsis and tetanus. A particular emphasis of the work is investing the burden incurred by the patients’ informal caregivers and the proportion of the economic burden that is not covered by the health care provider. This work is being led by Trinh Manh Hung (OUCRU).
Cost and cost-effectiveness of Hepatitis C treatment: Within this project, we are investigating the full cost of Direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment for Hepatitis C. This includes quantifying what costs the patients incur to access the treatment and how these might be different for those that need to travel from outside HCMC. Understanding the full cost of DAA-based treatment is essential to effectively advocate for patients, and enable policymakers in Vietnam to enhance accessibility to treatment. Using this data will also be investigating the cost-effectiveness of DAA treatment in Vietnam. This work is being led by Huyen Anh Nguyen (OUCRU).
Capacity strengthening: The global demand for economic evaluations and cost-effectiveness analysis is rapidly increasing. However, counterintuitively, many economic evaluations are performed by those without a formal health economic background and capacity in this area is an ongoing challenge. Consequently, there is an urgent need for widespread and novel capacity building/strengthening in this area. In collaboration with HITAP and a range of co-authors, we are developing open-access online material that covers fundamental topics related to economic evaluations. Examples include
- Adjusting for inflation and currency changes within health economic studies
- An Introduction to the Main Types of Economic Evaluations Used for Informing Priority Setting and Resource Allocation in Healthcare: Key Features, Uses, and Limitations
- What are economic costs and when should they be used in health economic studies?
Huyen Anh Nguyen (OUCRU): Health economic evaluation of direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C treatment in Vietnam
Thinh Ong Phuc (OUCRU): Using sero-surveillance to improve the prevention and control of vaccine-preventable diseases
et al., 2023, Analyses of the return on investment of public health interventions: a scoping review and recommendations for future studies, Bmj Global Health, Vol:8, ISSN:2059-7908, Pages:1-12
et al., 2023, An economic evaluation of Wolbachia deployments for dengue control in Vietnam, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol:17, ISSN:1935-2727, Pages:1-16
et al., 2021, An introduction to the main types of economic evaluations used for informing priority setting and resource allocation in healthcare: key features, uses and limitations, Frontiers in Public Health, Vol:9, ISSN:2296-2565, Pages:1-17
et al., 2020, The health and economic burdens of lymphatic filariasis prior to mass drug administration programs, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol:70, ISSN:1058-4838, Pages:2561-2567
et al., 2020, The health and economic burden of podoconiosis in Ethiopia, Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol:114, ISSN:0035-9203, Pages:284-292
et al., 2019, Adjusting for inflation and currency changes within health economic studies, Value in Health, Vol:22, ISSN:1098-3015, Pages:1026-1032
et al., 2019, Achieving affordable critical care in low-income and middle-income countries, Bmj Global Health, Vol:4, ISSN:2059-7908, Pages:1-4
et al., 2019, Valuing the unpaid contribution of community health volunteers to mass drug administration programs, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol:68, ISSN:1058-4838, Pages:1588-1595
et al., 2018, The estimates of the health and economic burden of dengue in Vietnam, Parasitology Today, Vol:34, ISSN:0169-4758, Pages:904-918
Turner HC, Thwaites GE, Clapham HE, 2018, Vaccine-preventable diseases in lower-middle-income countries, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol:18, ISSN:1473-3099, Pages:937-939
et al., 2018, Economic evaluations of mass drug administration: the importance of economies of scale and scope, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol:66, ISSN:1058-4838, Pages:1298-1303
et al., 2017, Investment success in public health: an analysis of the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit of the global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol:64, ISSN:1058-4838, Pages:728-735
et al., 2016, Cost-effectiveness of scaling up mass drug administration for the control of soil-transmitted helminths: a comparison of cost function and constant costs analyses., Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol:16, ISSN:1473-3099, Pages:838-846
et al., 2015, Cost and cost-effectiveness of soil-transmitted helminth treatment programmes: systematic review and research needs., Parasites & Vectors, Vol:8, ISSN:1756-3305
et al., 2014, Neglected tools for neglected diseases: mathematical models in economic evaluations, Trends in Parasitology, Vol:30, ISSN:1471-4922, Pages:562-570
et al., 2014, Reaching the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases Goals for Onchocerciasis: An Economic Evaluation of Increasing the Frequency of Ivermectin Treatment in Africa, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol:59, ISSN:1058-4838, Pages:923-932