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Focusing in on Health Technology Assessments – An interview with Sandra Bashford-Bovens

By 08/07/2021 No Comments

Sandra Bashford-Bovens recently joined Mtech Access as a Consultant specialising in Health Technology Assessments, (HTA). In this interview, Sandra outlines her interest and experience in HTA strategy and what inspired her to join Mtech Access.

What inspired you to pursue a career in market access?

I have always had an interest in medicine and healthcare, specifically in the immunology and cardiovascular therapy areas since I deepened my knowledge in these areas during my PhD project at Utrecht University (Netherlands). My thesis looked at cardiovascular applications of MRI, specifically at identifying new potential targets for contrast agents to non-invasively locate atherosclerotic lesions at high risk of rupture, as they can cause strokes or other complications.

Following on from my PhD, I moved to London and spent a couple of years as a postdoctoral researcher, but I felt that there was something missing in my academic day-to-day life; I wanted to be more closely involved in the elements that get new innovative medicines to the patient. This led me to market access consulting, and (as much as I enjoyed academic research) I never looked back.

What motivated you to join Mtech Access?

Since starting in market access 6 years ago, I have worked on a wide variety of project types and whilst I really enjoyed this, HTA submissions and strategy particularly grabbed my interest.

Mtech Access was already on my radar as I had heard very positive things about the culture, great work-life balance, the breadth of project types and approach; including HTAs. Mtech Access also has specialised in-house teams, covering all individual aspects of HTA submissions and much more, which allows me the opportunity to work with, and learn from, all the different teams and (very knowledgeable) people.

As I was particularly keen to focus in on HTA submissions as well as HTA strategy whilst still having the opportunity and flexibility to occasionally work on other market access projects; Mtech Access was the perfect fit.

 Why are you keen to focus on Health Technology Assessments?

There are several elements that interest me in HTA submissions. First and foremost, it’s the ability to work collaboratively with clients and colleagues to develop a compelling case for reimbursement, directly impacting patients’ lives.

I also really enjoy working together with a variety of teams and expertise, from evidence synthesis to health economics and medical writing, as well as the client teams. At Mtech Access, all the experts required to build a full HTA submission are in-house, which allows me to work directly with many people across the company.

What have you got involved with in your first few weeks at Mtech Access?

The first couple of weeks have been great. Mtech Access has a very good ‘virtual’ induction programme, which includes meetings with senior colleagues to understand the different capabilities and services delivered across the company. It has been particularly interesting to have had an induction buddy; Gary Hughes, who also joined the team recently as a Consultant in NHS Insights & Interaction. Gary has a background in the NHS, which gives him a very different perspective to my own and it has been great learning from each other.

I have also gotten straight into work; I am currently managing an HTA submission for a rare disease and a manuscript based on a model that Mtech Access developed. I have also attended several client meetings and supported ongoing discussions.

What has most surprised you about Mtech Access?

The ease with which I have settled in. It really feels like a very natural fit and like I have been here much longer than a couple of weeks. The company is very well structured so it is easy to identify who can help with what, without unnecessary hierarchy or pretence. Everyone is very friendly, helpful, and approachable.

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

At the moment, I mostly spend time with and go on walks with my crazy Golden Retriever. She is only just over a year old and has so much happy energy. I used to row a lot, which I have not been doing much over the last couple of years, but I would like to get back into a boat and enjoy the river and improve my fitness levels – watching the Olympic rowers will have to do for now!

To find out more about how we can support you with every step of your Health Technology Assessment submission, 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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