US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump join the growing ranks of world leaders infected by COVID-19. It is abundantly clear that this pandemic does not discriminate. Measures aimed at containing the spread of COIVD have led to severe economic upheaval and decline not seen since the Great Depression. On the surface, there may be little to appear optimistic about. Nevertheless, Dr. Michael Broder, President of PHAR, believes these trying circumstances contain a tremendous opportunity for HEOR professionals to make a tangible difference in the fight against COVID.
“In my career as an academic physician at UCLA, RAND researcher, author, and the leader of an HEOR consultancy, I’ve learned something important: it’s hard for lay people to understand health research, even when it’s presented in a distortion-free environment,” Dr. Broder said. “If you work in HEOR, regardless of your training, you likely know more than nearly all of your friends and family about drug development, statistics, public health, study design, and a host of other relevant topics. And what you can do right now to beat this disease is NOT BE SILENT.”
With so much misinformation and political spin, it is incumbent upon the HEOR community to speak up when friends or relatives accuse the FDA of withholding approval of COVID-19 treatments. Explain the difference between phase 1, 2, and 3 trials and why we should only rely on human studies that have been peer-reviewed. Speak up when you see politicians undermining our science-based institutions; let people know that they should be getting their facts from career scientists and not career politicians—especially during this election season with unprecedented levels of political turmoil and spin. Lead people to trustworthy data sources such as New York Times Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker and the companion Coronavirus Drug and Treatment Tracker. As an HEOR professional you are uniquely equipped to be a powerful force-multiplier for the side of science and objectivity. Read Dr. Broder’s full blog post here.