Professor Ben van Hout Honored with ISPOR Avedis Donabedian Outcomes Research Lifetime Achievement Award, 2020

Written by Candice Subero on Monday 29th November 2021

November 29, 2021, London, UK – Professor Ben van Hout, one of the founding members of Pharmerit International (now OPEN Health Group), its Scientific Director, and longtime Professor of Health Economics at the University of Sheffield’s School for Health and Related Studies (ScHARR) has been awarded the ISPOR Avedis Donabedian Outcomes Research Lifetime Achievement Award 2020.

This award recognizes an individual's outstanding, life-long achievement in the area of improving health outcomes, and Professor van Hout has devoted his >35-year career to the advancement of health economics and outcomes research and to the betterment of the health of a wide range of patient populations. “He is arguably one of the most creative and original methodologic pioneers and thinkers in health economics of his generation. He is responsible for many landmark papers in the field of health economics.” said Nancy Devlin, Professor of Health Economics & Director and former ISPOR President. “The diversity of his contributions is remarkable, ranging from the introduction of cost-effectiveness planes that aided the visualization and comprehension of CEA by decision makers, to seminal work on preference value sets and mapping, and the development of new methods for utility measurement.” she continues.

This year marks the quarter century anniversary of his landmark paper, introducing the concept of the cost effectiveness acceptability curve.1 This seminal paper has become a standard part of the way cost effectiveness analysis is reported and communicated by health economists around the world, advancing the use of probabilistic sensitivity analysis in economic evaluation. Taken together, his work has had a considerable impact establishing the critical role of health technology assessment (HTA) and their methods, and in turn impacted population health around the world.

Among his research, Professor van Hout was one of the first to use discrete event simulation2, questioned the use of equal discount rates for costs and effects3 and he was one of the first to help design clinical trials with cost effectiveness as an endpoint4 and to use Bayesian approaches to analyze the results.5 He co-authored guidelines concerning pharmaco-economic studies, he is a founding member of the EuroQol Group, and he initiated the first data modeling for the valuation of the EQ-5D-3L, the most widely known and recommended generic utility measure used in clinical trials and health economics evaluations.6

Professor van Hout is also a founding member of the Transfusion Technology Assessment group which concentrates on the economic assessment of transfusion technology, applying mathematical and statistical models, and has also been an active and supportive member of ISPOR for many years, including several years contributing to the advanced modeling short course.

“Ben is arguably one of the most original thinkers in his field. He is also known for his unrelentless search for innovative solutions to some of the most complex problems in health economics, which he does with great humor. He has also had an incredible impact on the careers of many researchers.” said Marc Botteman, founder of Pharmerit and board member at OPEN Health.

Join us in congratulating Ben on this award and his lifetime of achievements. Read more about Professor van Hout’s research here.

  1. Van Hout BA, M Al, GS Gordon, FFH Rutten. Costs, effects and C/E-ratio's alongside a clinical trial. Health Economics, 1994, 3, 309-319.
  2. Van Hout, BA, G Bonsel, P van der Maas, D. Habbema, F de Charro, Heart transplan­tation in the Netherlands; Costs Effects and Scenarios, Journal of Health Economics, 1993, 12: pp 73-93
  3. Van Hout, BA, Discounting Costs and effects: a reconsideration, Health Economics, 7, 1998, 581-594
  4. Serruys PW, Unger F, Sousa JE, Jatene A, Bonnier HJRM, Schonberger JPAM, Buller N, Bonser R, van den Brand MJB, van Herwerden LA, Morel MAM, van Hout BA, Comparison of coronary-artery bypass surgery and stenting for the treatment of multivessel disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 2001, 344, 1117-1124
  5. Al MJ, Van Hout BA, A Bayesian approach to economic analyses of clinical trials: the case of stenting versus balloon angioplasty, Health Economics, 2000, 7, 599-609
  6. Van Hout BA, McDonnell J. Estimating a parametric relation between health description and health valuation using the EuroQol. Lund 1991 EuroQol Proceedings. Later published as: Busschbach JJV, McDonnell J, Essink-Bot