EASD Study Group on Health Services Research and Health Economics

During the Annual Meeting 2019 in Barcelona the EASD Executive Committee endorsed a new EASD Study Group “Health Services Research and Health Economics”. The group has been started by Professor Andrea Icks, the director of the Institute of Health Services Research and Health Economics at the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) and at the Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

The EASD study group “Health Services Research and Health Economics” invites clinicians, health services researchers, economists and all scientists of related areas with an interest in the topic to the study group.

The Group has been established to bridge the gaps in the field of diabetes regarding health services research and health economics in a close link with clinical research and practice.

Health services research is a multidisciplinary field investigating how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect the access to health care, the quality and costs of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being. Health services research, along with health economics, is a well-established third research pillar complementing basic and clinical research.

Even though health services research and health economics have been considered early in the case of diabetes, there are still large gaps in the existing knowledge. Examples for remaining unanswered urgent questions are:

  • Which needs and preferences do patients with diabetes have? Knowledge with regard to this is marginal compared to e.g. knowledge for patients with cancer. How does the quality of life of patients with diabetes compare in different European countries?
  • What does an optimal care path for patients with late complications and comorbidities look like?
  • What is the clinical and cost-effectiveness of complex interventions to prevent diabetes and of interventions to take care of patients with diabetes and related complications under the conditions of the routine care?

The group aims to consolidate already existing research initiatives in economic aspects of clinical- and cost-effectiveness in routine care, efficiency of clinical research studies or interventions with an emphasis on patient-centered research.

Currently the group is focusing on four projects:

  • A joint Position statement in cooperation with the EASD Diabetic Foot Study Group (DFSG) regarding standards to assess the incidence of Lower Extremity Amputations (LEA) or at least to report the assessment of LEA incidences
  • A comparison of medication costs for different antihyperglycemic medicines over Europe (medication cost comparison) and an estimation of the proportion of out-of-pocket medication costs for the treatment of diabetes (patients’ burden) in each participating country.
  • Care preferences of patients with type 2 diabetes across Europe: a comparative discrete choice experiment
  • A multinational study of the costs of the diabetic foot disease to both health care services and to users and its relation to the world wide variation in the incidence of major amputations related to diabetes

We intend to evaluate and advance methods used in Europe and worldwide. The projects are an effort to further develop the link between basic science, clinical science and health services research studies.

If you are interested in joining this new venture or wish to participate in any of the projects, please contact Andrea Icks: andrea.icks@uni-duesseldorf.de.

On behalf of the Executive Committee