My work at HMRI involves the practical application of health economics. Often evaluation of health and medical interventions is focused on demonstrating efficacy and safety. The application of health economics informs questions about the cost effectiveness and value of the intervention. Addressing these questions is important for informing investment and disinvestment decisions.
Along with my economist colleagues, I am also involved with developing and applying techniques to measure the broader impact from funded translational health and medical research. Increasingly, researchers are required to demonstrate the return on investment from funded research. Our own research suggests economics has a significant role in both the measurement and promotion of research translation.
My goal is to increase awareness of the value health economics brings to health and medical research. Health technology assessment is crucial for ensuring the optimal efficiency and effectiveness of our healthcare system and embedding health economics in evaluations of programs, models of care and new technologies will help achieve that.
Penny completed a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) at the University of Newcastle, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Health Economics from the University of Tromso, Norway. After completion, Penny worked as a research officer at the Hunter Centre for Health Advancement before moving into a policy oriented role in the Health Improvement Branch at NSW Health.
In 2000 she relocated to London and continued working in health policy as part of the UK Government’s Economic Service. Between 2002 and 2010 Penny worked as a senior health economist for private consultancies in the UK and Australia. Before joining the HRE team at HMRI in 2014, Penny worked as a senior health economist at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd, Sydney, where she was engaged in developing economic submissions to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
Since joining HMRI, Penny has undertaken many economic evaluations across a broad spectrum of health and medical research areas. Most notably, Penny led the novel economic evaluation assessing the costs and benefits of a collaborative model of care targeting marginalised people with chronic mental health issues. In addition to economic evaluations, Penny advises local health district administrators and researcher on issues related to health technology assessment and is involved with developing research in the area of measuring and promoting research translation and impact.