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What is Health economic modelling? – Credihealth Blog

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Health economic modelling (HEM) is a discipline used in the decision-making and reimbursement process in the health care sector. This article describes who needs economic simulation models, why they are needed, and who develops them.

What is health economic modelling

Economic modelling is developing simulation models used to analyse the outcomes of new drugs, medical devices, or treatment protocols. Such models combine the results of clinical studies and real-world data from using new medical resources in practice.

The main tasks that simulation models address are:

  • estimating the value-for-money of a drug or medical procedure to be introduced into the marketplace by developing a cost-effectiveness model (CEM);
  • predicting the financial impact of the novelty on individual patients and society as a whole by constructing a budget impact model (BIM). 

In addition to demonstrating the results that researchers had during the modelling process, simulation models collect and accumulate all data related to the medical and financial impact of introducing new medical resources. The length of time over which the information is accumulated is determined by the manufacturers, depending on the goals and methodology of the study.

For whom and by whom HEM is performed

Recently, the demand for economic modelling has increased significantly in the highly competitive drug and medical device market.

This service is ordered by:

  • drug manufacturing companies;
  • manufacturers of medical equipment;
  • responsible bodies whose responsibilities include decision-making in the field of health care.

Economic modelling is done by consulting agencies that specialise in this area. Typically, the development team includes a large group of specialists, including lawyers, economists, and medical experts.

What health economic modelling is used for

Economic simulation models are an effective tool for manufacturers, government officials, insurance companies, and health care experts. They are used in the process of:

  • early models for deciding to develop or modify a product;
  • pricing models for estimating potential price ranges;
  • creating a market access strategy;
  • to evaluate cost-effectiveness and budget impact;
  • licensing decisions;
  • negotiating reimbursements.

Health models are included in the HTA dossier and made available to health care decision-makers. They not only provide data on the most likely consequences of introducing a new healthcare intervention to the market. They also show possible extreme outcomes. 

Digital solutions for health economic modelling

Consulting agencies perform modelling projects using state-of-the-art digital technology. A group of professionals, from programmers to experts in health economics and medicine are involved in the development.

The process of economic modelling includes several stages:

  • development of the general concept of the model;
  • data collection;
  • technical development of the model;
  • testing and validation;
  • publication;
  • technical support.

Digital models have these characteristics:

  • intuitive;
  • structured;
  • informative; 
  • illustrative;
  • scientifically valid and reliable;
  • easy to use and manage.


Usually, developers offer universal solutions, so digital simulation models can be used for global decision-making and can also be easily adapted to other markets or regions.

Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s). 

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