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Conceptualising and building health economic models at Mtech Access – An interview with Claire Spencer

By 10/09/2021 No Comments
How we work: health economics at Mtech Access - an interview with Claire Spencer

Claire Spencer, Health Economist in our Manchester office, gives an insight into her day-to-day work and the different projects she works on at Mtech Access. These include both commercial and technical health economic models, from budget impact models to cost-effectiveness and cost-consequence models.

 What led you to pursue a career in health economics?

I initially pursued a career in marketing but was looking for better ways to use my statistical analysis skills, and do something I really enjoyed, which was varied at the same time. As a university student, I worked at a Pharmaceutical consultancy in Switzerland, which sparked my interest in health economics, and lead me to carry out a master’s degree in health economics at York.

Following my master’s at York, I was able to gain experience at various agencies before joining Mtech Access in early 2019.

 

What projects have you worked on since you joined Mtech Access?

Since joining Mtech Access, I have worked on a number of interesting projects including, but not limited to, cost-effectiveness models (Markov, semi-Markov and partitioned survival models), budget impact models (including adaptations), cost-consequence models, and supporting on targeted and systematic literature reviews.

For each project, I’ve enjoyed initially conceptualising the model as it entails collaborating with the client team to develop a model that best meets their needs. It also helps the Mtech Access team to better understand the disease area and any previous models within the landscape.

 

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m working on a variety of projects, including a global budget impact model that is being adapted for a number of countries, including the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Canada.

Furthermore, I am currently finalising the conceptualisation of a cost-effectiveness model for a treatment used in haematology, as well as building a combined cost-effectiveness, cost-consequence, and budget impact model for an oncology product.

It’s great to work on a variety of projects as every day is new and interesting!

 

So, what does a typical week look like for you?

Typically, I will have a number of client meetings to discuss the ongoing project progress, to ensure alignment with the client needs and objectives.

I will also tend to have a number of internal meetings with colleagues to discuss project progress, to ensure that we are aligned on activities for the coming weeks. These internal meetings will often be over the phone via a video conference, as our health economics team are not all located within the same office.

The remainder of my week will involve ensuring my projects are progressing appropriately. Typically, I will progress a model by ensuring the model is first conceptualised (understanding the disease area, critiquing HTA submissions and developing a proposed model structure based on our research), before developing the framework and collecting the required data inputs.

 

How has Mtech Access evolved since you joined?

Since joining Mtech Access, the team has grown in size, particularly the Manchester office, which is where I’m based! We have doubled in size, which has required a new (and improved) office space.

We also now have a broader range of clients, which is great for a health economist, as you have even more models and therapy areas to work on.

 

How is Mtech Access different to other agencies you have worked with?

From my experience, Mtech Access has a wider range of clients and internal expertise, which allows us to work on more diverse projects. Along with having an in-house team of health economists, we also have specialists in systematic literature review, a digital team, medical writers and experts in the NHS etc., which is great, as there is always someone you can go to for extra support.

This also means that there are experienced colleagues for you to learn from, which is shown in being able to work on a variety of different projects that I’ve previously not had the opportunity to work on. Also, as I’m working with such an experienced team, I’ve learnt new skills, like visual basic code, which can be implemented in models I’ve developed to make them more efficient.

Mtech Access is a friendly and flexible company to work for. I feel fortunate to work here because of how friendly the whole team is, from junior to senior staff; everyone’s opinion matters here.

 

We’ve recently returned to offices on a hybrid basis – are you enjoying seeing colleagues face-to-face?

It’s great to be back in the office and to have a “normal” routine again. I do appreciate having a flexible approach to working from home though, especially when I have a lot of client meetings in a day.

At the Manchester office, we’ve already had a back-to-work social, and intend on planning more so that we can socialise outside of work. It’s just great to be able to see everyone again!

 

When you are not at work, what do you like to do?

Outside of work, and since covid, I really enjoy making things; from coasters to hair pins using resin. I think it’s very therapeutic to be creative. Prior to covid (and even now, when it’s possible to again), I enjoy travelling (it’s nice to escape the Manchester weather). When travelling, I like to go on adventures, be it sand surfing in the desert or skiing in the mountains, or swimming with dolphins in the wild.

To find out more about our approach to health economic evaluation and modelling , email info@mtechaccess.co.uk.

If you are interested in joining our team at Mtech Access, please visit our careers page for details of our current vacancies.

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