Feb 6 – 10, 2023
Heidelberg, Studio Villa Bosch
Europe/Berlin timezone















The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) Division of Health Economics and the University of Heidelberg are delighted to invite you to the Heidelberg Health Economics Winter School 2023.

A major branch of health economics is concerned with the study of how scarce health care resources are allocated among competing health care programs and, by implication, among different groups in society. In health economics, tools such as cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) are often used to inform decision makers. Conventionally, CEA is designed to help achieve the maximum potential health benefits given a resource constraint or "scarcity". Results from conventional CEAs may, however, contradict prevailing social norms and preferences.
The Winter School addresses the underlying issues by introducing and reviewing concepts and methods divided into two modules: basic and advanced. Together, these two modules offer a comprehensive overview of principles and methods, but they may also be attended separately.

Health Economic Evaluations: Foundation and Application

Module A introduces basic concepts of health economics and addresses practical issues faced by health care decision makers responsible for allocating scarce resources. One of the main objectives of the Heidelberg Health Economics Winter School is to bring together different stakeholders, such as payers, physicians, policy makers, representatives from the industry and academia, and others who are involved in different segments of the health care system.
Therefore, the Module A was created with the objective of offering anyone with limited or outdated previous knowledge of health economics tools to comprehend key issues.

The intense program will be highly interactive, using exercises and case studies. It will highlight key concepts and their application in the search of “value for money”. Furthermore, it will address the use of (health) economic evaluation in the context of health technology assessments (HTAs) in theory and practice.

After the first two days, participants should be able to:

  • identify the key elements relevant the organization of health care systems (e.g., provision and funding);
  • understand and describe the principles of economic analysis in health care;
  • be familiar with the concepts related to the identification and measurement of health outcomes and costs;
  • understand the role of patient-reported outcomes (PROs), willingness-to-pay, utility and capabilities in the valuation of health technologies;
  • recognize the health economic techniques used to inform resource allocation and priority setting in the health system, notably cost-effectiveness (and “cost utility”) evaluations and budget impact analyses;
  • appreciate the role of economic evaluation in the appraisal of health care.

Members of the International Faculty will include: 

Participants may also enroll for this module as a stand-alone subject.


Current Issues in the Use of Health Economics to Inform Market Access and Reimbursement Decisions

Conventional health economic evaluations may lead to counterintuitive results, which in some cases have led policy-makers to overrule economic evidence, in particular in the context of health technology assessments (HTAs), market access, reimbursement and pricing decisions. This immediately raises the issue of “who is right and who is wrong” – when and why.

To shed light on the underlying problems, as well as solutions sought for in major European jurisdictions (such as England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands), an international faculty of experts will discuss with Winter School participants:

  • the strengths and limitations of conventional cost-effectiveness analyses, and potential alternatives such as extended cost per QALY calculations, multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and social cost value analysis (SCVA);
  • the relevance and assessment of the perspective of patients, including the broader socioeconomic impact of diseases and the provision of medical care;
  • sources of “value” and the role of social norms and preferences, including its impact on the valuation of end-of-life (EoL) treatments and orphan medicinal products (OMPs);  
  • challenges posed by “precision medicine”, including innovative adaptive clinical trial designs, biomarkers and companion diagnostics, advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), and the “value of a cure”;
  • recent trends in medical research and development (R&D), including its economic dimension, implications for research prioritization, early value assessments and strategic R&D decision-making.

Members of the International Faculty will include: 

Participants may also enroll for this module as a stand-alone subject.


Studio Villa Bosch (Photograph by P. Saueressig)


Heidelberg, Studio Villa Bosch
Carl Bosch Auditorium
Schloß-Wolfsbrunnenweg 33 69118 Heidelberg Germany