Congratulations to Laura Flight!

Laura Flight has been awarded a Doctoral Research Fellowship, which is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and aims to establish whether using adaptive designs can impact our ability to assess the cost-effectiveness of health technologies. Bodies such as the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) are responsible for making decisions about which health technologies to fund. To do this they require high quality evidence of the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a treatment.

An adaptive design is a type of study design that allows us to undertake planned analyses of the data from a trial before it has ended. Based on what is seen at an interim analysis changes can be made - or the trial adapted - to optimise the chances of success. When setting up an adaptive trial the changes to the study design are usually motivated by showing clinical effectiveness. Despite its importance, evidence to show a treatment is value for money (cost-effectiveness) is not a priority.

The fellowship will investigate how overlooking cost-effectiveness in adaptive designs can potentially compromise the quality of evidence for economic evaluation. The fellowship will also investigate opportunities to incorporate cost-effectiveness into the interim decision making of an adaptive design.

The fellowship will be supervised by Professor Steven Julious (ScHARR), Professor Alan Brennan (ScHARR) and Professor Sue Todd (University of Reading).