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The evolving world of health economics – an interview with Catrin Treharne

The evolving world of health economics - an interview with Catrin Treharne

Catrin Treharne recently joined Mtech Access as a Director in our Health Economics team. In this interview, she tells us about her experiences and activities in her first few weeks with us, and shares her interest in the process of model conceptualisation and the way modelling is evolving to reflect advances in the treatments it serves.

What led you to pursue a career in health economics?

I studied maths at university and was keen to apply my skills in the healthcare field. I’d been fortunate enough to have work experience placements both in an epidemiology team as well as in a government statistics department, but it wasn’t until I applied for a role as a trainee health economist in a market access consultancy in 2011 that I felt I’d found the right fit.

I remember really enjoying preparing the exercise for my interview – a simple decision tree model, although I didn’t know what a decision tree was at the time! Fortunately, I was successful in that interview, and I’ve been working in health economics ever since.

What areas of health economics most interest you?

I love the process of model conceputalisation; understanding a disease area, the clinical data package for a product, and the key areas of uncertainty. It’s great working with clients to explore data gaps and potential ways of addressing these.

I have been fortunate to work across a wide range of disease areas, both at a global and local level. In recent years, I’ve worked extensively in oncology, and it’s really exciting to now be working on treatments that may offer a “cure” or long-term survival to some patients, and to see how our modelling methods are evolving accordingly. The power of traditional survival analysis methods is reduced, faced with treatments that may offer long-term benefits, and we are now seeing much greater use of more advanced techniques, such as spline or piecewise models, landmark responder models, or mixture cure models.

I enjoy collaborating with our in-house statistical team to ensure that the data and analyses underpinning the model are as robust as possible, and also with our medical writers to ensure that we communicate everything we’ve done in a way that’s understood by all stakeholders.

What motivated you to join Mtech Access?

When thinking about my next move, I knew I wanted to stay in consultancy since I love the dynamism, teamwork and the breadth of project work offered. I was familiar with Mtech Access as a company and knew of the calibre and experience of the team.

Joining Mtech Access at a time when it is evolving from a smaller company to a larger one really excited me, and I was also confident that the culture would be a good fit.

What have you been doing in your first few weeks with Mtech Access?

It’s been very varied so far!

My first couple of weeks were full of induction meetings, which brought me quickly up to speed on the company structure and our service offerings. It was lovely to join these meetings alongside the other three new starters in the Health Economics team.

I’ve enjoyed discussing several opportunities with and developing proposals for various clients, from HTA support, to global model development, to manuscripts. I also joined my first pitch meeting last week.

It’s been great learning about the various projects the Health Economics team are currently working on and getting stuck in on a few of these. This week I’ve been supporting with a HTA advisory board slide deck for an autoimmune disease and contributing to a model review/critique for a respiratory disease.

How does it feel to be in our new London office?

It’s great! It’s a lovely space and I think I’ve mastered the coffee machine! The Paddington location works brilliantly for me, being a 30-minute walking commute. I really appreciate the hybrid working environment that Mtech Access offers and the flexibility to work from home a couple of days a week.

It was great to spend my first day in our Manchester office, meeting the rest of the Health Economics team as we gathered together for a team-meeting. I’m planning to visit HQ in Bicester during the next few weeks!

What has surprised you about Mtech Access?

There haven’t been any huge surprises, but I’ve been very impressed with our editorial function, which I think provides great value to our teams and our clients, and has already supported me in finessing several proposals.

My initial interactions with the team have all confirmed the positive impressions I already had of the culture at Mtech Access.

Catrin Treharne - walking to work in London

Catrin on her walking commute, on her way to our London office in Paddington.

What are you most looking forward to in your role as Director?

I’m excited to be part of the growing Health Economics team and have enjoyed recent discussions with Elizabeth Thurgar and Anthony Bentley, our other two Health Economics Directors, on the plans for the group. I can’t wait to get involved in recruitment and thinking ahead to our graduate intake for 2022.

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

My main passion is music; I enjoy singing in choirs and playing the piano in my spare time. I also love theatre and am always on the lookout for plays to go to see. Recent favourites have included ‘The Normal Heart’ at the National Theatre, and Cush Jumbo as ‘Hamlet’ at the Young Vic.

 To find out more about our approach to health economics and our wider HEOR services, 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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