Professor Alan Brennan

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

Population Health, School of Medicine and Population Health

Professor of Health Economics and Decision Modelling

Alan Brennan
Profile picture of Alan Brennan
+44 114 222 0684

Full contact details

Professor Alan Brennan
Population Health, School of Medicine and Population Health
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. Together we have now built a large, high-quality team of around 35 or more health economic modelling researchers.

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.

I lead programmes of research on mathematical modelling in health and healthcare focusing on health economics and decision modelling.  

I lead and contribute to the strategic development of research collaborations and programmes within the University, the White Rose, nationally and internationally for funders including NIH (US), MRC, ESRC, NICE, DH and EU.

I undertake substantial applied research/consultancy with healthcare organisations around public health, service development and policy, and with the pharmaceutical industry in the UK and internationally on the cost-effectiveness of interventions.

I contribute to PhD and Masters programmes in ScHARR including the Wellcome Doctoral Training Centre in Public Health Economics and Decision Science and working on new courses and curriculum development around MSc Health Economics and Decision Modelling, and the online course MSc International Health Technology Assessment and Reimbursement.

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.


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


  • Forster M, Flight L, Corbacho B, Keding A, Ronaldson S, Tharmanathan P, Welch C, Brennan A & Chick S (2021) Report for the EcoNomics of Adaptive Clinical Trials (ENACT) project: Application of a Bayesian Value-Based Sequential Model of a Clinical Trial to the CACTUS and HERO Case Studies (with Guidance Material for Clinical Trials Units) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hill J, Breeze P, Chrysanthou G, Bell H & Brennan A (2019) Summary report of the Health and Labour Outcomes (HaLO) Tool RIS download Bibtex download
  • 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
  • Hill J, Sechel C, Mukuria C, Brennan A, Roberts J & Bryan M (2018) A feasibility study for building a health and work model. Report prepared for Public Health England 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




Research group

Sheffield Alcohol Research Group

Sheffield Accelerated Value of Information

Collaborative Network for Value of Information (CONVOI) website


Current and Recent Research Grants


SYNTAX - Integrated evidence synthesis for joint appraisal of tobacco and alcohol tax interventions for harm reduction in the UK

NIHR School for Public Health Research 2 - including leadership of the cross cutting theme on efficient and equitable public health systems 

UK Prevention Research Programme

SPECTRUM - commercial determinants of health & health inequalities focusing on tobacco and alcohol and extending work to unhealthy food and drinks

UK Prevention Research Programme (led by Petra Meier and Robin Purshouse)

SIPHER - systems science in public health and health economic research

US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

CASCADE - Calibrated Agent Simulations for Combined Analysis of Drinking Etiologies, funded by the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)


Appraising the effect of implementing local Minimum Unit Pricing under the Sustainable Communities Act on alcohol consumption and health in the North West of England

With results available here:-  Asset bank on minimum unit pricing for each Local Authority in North of England (MUPLocal project)

Innovative Medicines Initiative

Hypo-RESOLVE working on new solutions to handle hypoglycaemia in diabetes


SPARC - Understanding stability and change in British drinking using 16 years of market research data


Laura Gray MRC Skills Development Fellowship

Ines Henriques-Cadby MRC Skills Development Fellowship

Magdalena Opazo-Breton MRC Skills Development Fellowship on tobacco econometrics 

NIHR (led by Amy Ahern in Cambridge)

Scalable behavioural weight management programmes for the prevention and treatment of diabetes

Department of Health Policy Research Programme via NIHR (led by Tessa Langley in Nottingham)

Tobacco control measures in England: secondary analyses to monitor trends and outcomes

NIHR Programme Grant (led by Prof Simon Heller, Sheffield) 

DAFNEPlus study of muliti-component ongoing support to people with Type 1 diabetes

NHS Health Scotland (led by John Holmes, Sheffield) 

Evaluating impact of Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland


UK Centre for Alcohol and Tobacco Studies.  - Funding completed May 2018 but ongoing work on other grants especially SYNTAX and SPECTRUM

This work has developed the Sheffield Tobacco and Alcohol Policy Model (STAPM) led by Duncan Gillespie

NIHR (led by Prof Melanie Davies, Leicester)

Embedding patient education Diabetes 

NIHR (led by Tom Yates Leicester) 

PROPELS -  exercise interventions for increasing steps for people with learning disabilities to prevent diabetes

Public Health England

Support to Non Communicable Disease Modelling Unit

Public Health England

Health and Work - estimating the impact of 11 chronic conditions on labour market outcomes

Professional activities and memberships

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.