Professor Alan Brennan

BSc (London), MSc (London), PhD (Sheffield)

School of Health and Related Research

Professor of Health Economics and Decision Modelling

Alan Brennan
+44 114 222 0684

Full contact details

Professor Alan Brennan
School of Health and Related Research
Regent Court (ScHARR)
30 Regent Street
S1 4DA

I am Professor of Health Economics and Decision Modelling at ScHARR, University of Sheffield, England.

I studied for BSc Mathematics at Imperial College London and then MSc Operational Research at the London School of Economics before joining the NHS to work in and then lead the Trent Operational Research Unit. Since 1994 I have been leading the modelling team at ScHARR.

I lead a large group of around 35 academic staff, undertaking methodological and applied research and consultancy using mathematical modelling in health and healthcare.

I have been developing and applying modelling in support of healthcare decision-making nationally and internationally, across a large range of diseases, interventions, service planning and policy issues for over 25 years. This has included building and developing the team of modelling researchers from just 4 in the late 1990s to over 30 as of 2015.

I am a regular expert on several NICE Scientific Advice Programme panels, providing input to the design of phase III studies from an economic/NICE perspective, usually for global pharmaceutical and device manufacturers.

Research interests

My fundamental interest is in mathematical modelling approaches to inform decision making in health and healthcare.

I am currently principal investigator or co-investigator involved in over 19 research programmes and projects. Current government / national policy research.

Alcohol Policy
I have been involved in modelling alcohol behaviours and policy since 2008, when we began a programme of research for UK research bodies and policy makers. With Prof Meier, we have developed the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group, a leading international centre for alcohol policy and epidemiological modelling research. Our work has influenced government policy on minimum unit pricing for alcohol; shaping and informing policy in UK, Scotland, Canada, Wales, EU Commission, and Republic of Ireland.

Public Health - Health Economics and Decision Modelling
I am co-applicant (Health Economics and Decision Modelling leader) on large research grants for the NIHR School of Public health research and the ESRC funded UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies.

I have a wider portfolio of public health work including work around screening and prevention of diabetes, linking smoking and alcohol behaviours and developing a joint smoking and alcohol policy analysis model, encouraging behaviours in physical activity and general lifestyle risk reductions. This entire programme relates to the central methodological interest which is in developing and using novel mathematical modelling approaches to support and inform decision making around health and healthcare for international impact.

Health Technology Assessment
I have been heavily involved in health technology assessment and health economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals and interventions for both government bodies in the UK eg NICE and internationally, and also with the pharmaceutical industry.

I direct a programme of research in Health Economic Modelling / Health Technology Assessment which involves a large team of modelling staff and their collaborators. We are recognized as a leading national and international centre for HTA modelling research. I have been involved in direct leadership of over 30 research projects within the last five years, working closely with ScHARR-TAG and DSU.

Current projects

  • SPHR2: awarded the 5-year programme as co-applicant
  • Joint UK and Australian project on Smoking Cessation Relapse. Funder: NIHR. Relapse prevention interventions for smoking cessation. 2016-2019. Programme: HEALTH TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • NIHR Title: EDARA: Alcohol Treatment Centre Evaluation. End date: April 2018
  • Diabetes education with Leicester. NIHR: Embedding patient education - Leicester 2015-2019. Programme: PROGRAMME GRANTS FOR APPLIED RESEARCH
  • Funder name: NIHR. Title: Appraising the effect of local Minimum Unit Pricing implementation under the Safe Communities Act on alcohol consumption and health in the North West of England 15/129  2017-2018
  • CASCADE Funder name: NIHR - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Title: CASCADE version 2. 2016-2021
  • FULL UK Lower Risk Drinking Guidelines Evaluation. 2015-2018. Programme: PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH PROGRAMME
  • Amy Ahern Cambridge – NIHR Programme grant on Post weight watchers maintenance and diabetes prevention interventions.

Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


  • Payne N, Akehurst R, Beard S, Brennan A, Calvert N, Chilcott J, Mccabe C, Paisley S & Ward S (2017) Supporting purchasing in acute specialties in the trent region, Controlling Costs: Strategic Issues in Health Care Management (pp. 118-130). RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers


  • Webster L, Angus C, Brennan A & Gillespie D (2018) Smoking and the risks of adult diseases View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Pryce RE, Buykx P, Gray L, Stone T, Drummond C & Brennan A (2017) Estimates of alcohol dependence in England based on APMS 2014, including estimates of children living in a household with an adult with alcohol dependence. Prevalence, trends, and amenability to treatment RIS download Bibtex download
  • Brennan A, Buykx P, Pryce RE, Jones A, Hill-McManus D, Stone T, Ally A, Gillespie D, Meier P, Alston R , Cairns D et al (2016) An Evidence-Based Model for Estimating Requirements for Specialist Alcohol Treatment Capacity in England The Specialist Treatment for Alcohol Model (STreAM) Version 1.0 View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Pryce RE, Angus C, Holmes J, Meier P & Brennan A (2016) Model-based appraisal of the comparative impact of Minimum Unit Pricing and taxation policies in Scotland. An adaptation of the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model version 3, RIS download Bibtex download
  • Holmes J, Angus C, Buykx P, Ally A, Stone A, Meier P & Brennan A (2016) Mortality and morbidity risks from alcohol consumption in the UK: Analyses using the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model (v.2.7) to inform the UK Chief Medical Officers’ review of the UK lower risk drinking guidelines RIS download Bibtex download
  • Holmes J, Lovatt MJ, Ally A, Brennan A & Meier P (2015) A new approach to measuring drinking cultures in Britain RIS download Bibtex download
  • Koh SCL, Marchand R, Genovese A & Brennan A (2012) Fuel Poverty: Perspectives from the front line View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Webster L, Angus C, Holmes J, Brennan A & Gillespie D () Alcohol attributable fractions for England RIS download Bibtex download
  • Webster L, Angus C, Brennan A & Gillespie D () Smoking attributable fractions for adult diseases in England RIS download Bibtex download


  • Nagy B, Brennan A, Brandtmuller A, Thomas SK, Sullivan SD & Akehurst R (2008) Cost-Utility of the Rivastigmine Transdermal Patch in the Management of Patients with Moderate Alzheimer's Disease in the US. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Sadler S, Angus C, Gell L, Gillespie D, Holmes J, Brennan A & Meier P Comparing socioeconomic gradients in alcohol-related harm between the four UK countries (PHE Applied Epidemiology Scientific Meeting 18-19 March 2015). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Thokala P, Dodd P, Dixon S & Brennan A Using real world data to structure and populate Markov models - a case study of telemonitoring for heart failure. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Brennan A, Thokala P, Baalbaki H, Stevens J, Wang J & Pandor A Telemonitoring after discharge with heart failure - costeffectiveness modelling of alternative service designs (2012). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Basarir H, Kruger J, Brennan A, Thokala P, Jacques R, Dixon S, Elliott J, Heller S & Mansell P The Cost-Effectiveness of 5-week versus 1-week DAFNE Structured Education in Type 1 Diabetes: A Preliminary Evaluation Using the Sheffield Type 1 Diabetes Policy Model (Diabetes UK Professional Conference 13-15 March 2013). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kruger J, Brennan A, Thokala P, Basarir H & Heller S The Cost-Effectiveness of Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (DAFNE) Structured Education in Type 1 Diabetes: An Update using the Sheffield Type 1 Diabetes Policy Model (Diabetes UK Professional Conference 13-15 March 2013). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tosh J, Brennan A & Parry G Health economic modelling of the service of care in Sheffield for patients with long term depression. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Brennan A & Gillett M Modelling cost effectiveness of behaviour modification programmes and effects on medication: case study of education programmes in diabetes. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tappenden P, Brennan A, Chilcott J & Squires H Using Whole Disease Modelling to inform economic recommendations for the detection, diagnosis, treatment and followup of colorectal cancer. RIS download Bibtex download





  • Funder name: NHS HEALTH SCOTLAND URM: Evaluating impact of Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland: NHS Health Scotland. Five-year grant.

Won this year and begun

  • Integrated evidence synthesis for joint appraisal of tobacco and alcohol tax interventions for harm reduction in England (SYNTAX) 16/105/26 – Bid to NIHR PHR board on modelling tobacco and alcohol tax policies together
  • PHE Consultancy. Health & Work Modelling
  • PHE Consultancy – Return on Investment for CVD prevention interventions and strategies

Recently Completed

  • ALCOHOL RESEARCH UK: The Cost of Alcohol to Primary Care in England 2016-2017
  • ALCOHOL RESEARCH UK: Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) programmes: do they improve or worsen health inequalities? 2016-2017
  • Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes Psychological interventions. NIHR: Motivation for type 1 and type 2 diabetes self-management. 2015-2017. Programme: HEALTH TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • Sheffield Tobacco and Alcohol Model. Funder name: MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL: UK Center for Alcohol and Tobacco Studies -End date: 31 May 2018
Professional activities

I am a member of SMDM, ISPOR, HTAi, iHEA, HESG, Operational Research SocietyMASHnet Advisory Circle and Institute of Mathematics and Applications.

I am currently a co-editor for the journal Value in Health.