PhRMA Foundation announces Challenge Award to address health disparities, diverse groups

Oct. 26, 2020

The PhRMA Foundation announced a call for proposals from researchers across the country that aim to inspire bold and vital research on how value assessment can better capture evidence regarding diverse populations and drivers of health disparities.

The PhRMA Foundation will award a total of $85,000 to support scientific papers that advance solutions to the following question:

How can value assessment methods and processes better account for populations that are typically underrepresented in research and drivers of health disparities?

“Value assessment plays a foundational role in driving value-based health care by providing a framework to evaluate and render decisions based on evidence of value,” said Eileen Cannon, president of the PhRMA Foundation. “This extraordinary year presented us with a global pandemic that has shown great disparities in health outcomes and cost for patients with COVID-19 due to a variety of factors. Failure to account for the role of lived experiences, social determinants of health, and heterogenous populations in estimating the outcomes and costs could lead to estimates of value that may miss the mark in representing value of health care for disadvantaged populations. The PhRMA Foundation is set to support bold new research that can better capture evidence on diverse populations and drivers of disparities and bring this evidence to bear in measuring value of health care.”

Challenge Award applicants have the flexibility to propose a wide range of solutions aimed at this year’s challenge question. Examples may include, but are not limited to:

• Documenting examples in which available evidence on outcomes and preferences traditionally accounted for in value assessment –including clinical, health-related, and/or economic outcomes may not account for diverse perspectives

• Identifying practical avenues through which underrepresented individuals can shape current value assessments

• Evaluating and identify solutions to improve existing value assessment methods and processes) that may inadequately address health disparities and underrepresented populations

• Evaluating ways that value assessment can be effectively directed to, or complemented by, evaluation of interventions to reduce system-level contributors to health disparities

• Identifying the impact of systemic barriers (e.g., digital divide, institutionalized racism, workforce practices) on value

• Describing the data, information technology, or novel methods necessary for conducting value assessments of clinical interventions within underrepresented populations

• Examining non-clinical aspects of health care that contribute to disparities and their effects on value

Candidates for the new Challenge Awards should submit letters of intent to the Foundation by no later than Dec. 1, 2020, to initiate the application process. Qualified applicants will be contacted no later than December 21, 2020, with a request to submit the full paper describing their response to the challenge question.

“The PhRMA Foundation Challenge Awards present a unique opportunity for researchers to develop innovative, creative and meaningful solutions to some of the most problematic issues in the US health care system,” said Cannon. “Certainly, COVID-19 has further exposed critical but not irreparable flaws in the delivery of health care treatments and services. The PhRMA Foundation is proud to support research that can lead to real world application that works for the betterment of all patients.”

To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $3.5 million to support a variety of research projects on value assessment in healthcare.

PhRMA Foundation has the release.