Adrian Towse


Adrian Towse is the Director of the Office of Health Economics.  The Office conducts research and provides consultancy services on health economics and related policy issues that affect health care and the life sciences industries. It is a London-based research and consulting group owned by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) but operating at arm’s length. It works in three areas:

  •  the economics of the financing and organisation of health care;
  •  the economic evaluation of medicines;
  •  the economics of pharmaceutical innovation. 

A Visiting Professor at LSE, Adrian is also a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Health Economics Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford. Adrian has also been a Visiting Professor at the Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York. For ten years he served as a Non-Executive Director of the Oxford Radcliffe NHS Trust (now the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust), one of the UK’s largest research and teaching hospitals. He served at various times as chair of its Governance Committee, chair of its Audit Committee, and chair of its Relocation Board (overseeing the closure of the Radcliffe Infirmary site and the opening of the West Wing and the Cancer Centre).

Adrian is currently President of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), the largest international association of health economists and health outcomes researchers.

His areas of research include:

  • incentives for R&D for new products to tackle antimicrobial resistance, where he is currently writing a paper modelling an “insurance option” as a financing mechanism;
  • economic issues that affect both R&D for and access to treatments for diseases prevalent in middle and low income countries. He is currently writing a paper for an issue of OXREP on global health issues;
  • the use of 'risk-sharing' arrangements between health care payers and pharmaceutical companies. He is currently papers on the relevance of these approaches to the US and on the implications for drug development;
  •  the economics of stratified/personalised medicine for health care payers and the pharmaceutical industry. His current research involves exploring models for dividing value between the diagnostic and the pharmaceutical;
  • the use of HTA by payers to assess value. He is currently writing a paper on how HTA bodies should handle uncertainty when assessing technologies.


Recent Publications (2014)

Buxton, M,. Longworth, L. Raftery, J, Schulpher, M. and Towse, A.  (2014) Reforming the Cancer Drug Fund. BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 28 November 2014). BMJ 2014;349:g7276

Chawla, A.J., Mytelka, D S., McBride, S. D., Nellesen, D., Elkins, B.R., Ball, D.E., Kalsekar, A., Towse, A., Garrison, L.P. (2014). “Estimating the incremental net health benefit of requirements for cardiovascular risk evaluation for diabetes therapies”. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 23(3) 268-277.

Drummond, M. and Towse, A., 2014. Orphan drugs policies: a suitable case for treatment. The European Journal of Health Economics. 15(4), pp.335-340.., 2014. Orphan drugs policies: a suitable case for treatment.  15(4), pp.335-340.

Garrison, L.P. and Towse, A. (2014). “Economics of personalized medicine: pricing and reimbursement policies as a potential barrier to development and adoption.” In A. Culyer ed. Encyclopedia of Health Economics. San Diego, CA, Elsevier. pp. 484-490.

Mestre-Ferrandiz, J. and Towse, A. (2014). “What is the role of HTA for biosimilars?” Briefing. London, Office of Health Economics.

Towse, A., 2014. Comparative and relative effectiveness: a challenge for health systems, regulators, or the pharmaceutical industry? In Culyer, A.J. and Kobelt, G. eds. Portrait of a health economist: essays by colleagues and friends of Bengt Jonsson. Lund: Swedish Institute for Health Economics, pp.179-188.

Towse, A. (2014). “Value of drugs in practice”. In A. Culyer ed. Encyclopedia of Health Economics. San Diego, CA, Elsevier. pp. 432-440.