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Welcome to Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative  

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2015 URL: http://theta.utoronto.ca/HomePage Print Guide RSS Updates

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  • THETA team
  • The abstract and full press release is posted in the News section below

  • Rolling the DICE: can we do better than Markov, DES, and Microsimulation?
    J. Jaime Caro, MDCM, FRCPC, FACP, Chief Scientist at Evidera, adjunct Professor at McGill University
    Date: Friday, March 6, 2015 Time: 1:00-2:00pm
    Leslie Dan Pharmacy, University of Toronto, 144 College Street, Rm# 850

  • Please check archived recordings of our lectures under Education ->THETA Rounds tab.
    Latest available: Screening breast MRI: Emerging trends in community use. Natasha Stout, PhD, Assistant Professor, Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Please see  titles posted in the News section below
  • See our new live Twitter feed below...
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Cost-Effectiveness of Screening Hepatitis C in Canada. - Wong WWL, Tu HA, Feld JJ, Wong T, Krahn M
Publication Date: Jan 12, 2015; Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ)

Between-country heterogeneity in EQ-5D-3L scoring algorithms: how much is due to differences in health state selection? - Pullenayegum EM, Perampaladas K, Gaebel K, Doble B, Xie F.
Publication Date: Sept 2014; Eur J Health Econ



THETA Rounds

Since 2008 THETA has been hosting  a lecture series THETA Rounds and inviting world experts to address various issues related to Health Technology Assessment field. Recordings of most sessions are available in the THETA Rounds Archive.
Topic: Rolling the DICE: can we do better than Markov, DES, and Microsimulation?

Lecturer: J. Jaime Caro, MDCM, FRCPC, FACP, Chief Scientist at Evidera, adjunct Professor at McGill University
Date: Friday, March 6, 2015
1:00-2:00 pm
Rm# 850, Leslie Dan Pharmacy, University of Toronto, 144 College Street

CADTH Lecture Series

CADTH is hosting a series of lectures by prominent scholars and opinion leaders to share their perspectives on some of the most pressing issues facing health technology assessment (HTA) and health care today. The upcoming session: March 12, 2015 (1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT, register and attend in person or via webinar): Dr. Murray Krahn, Director of Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment  (THETA) Collaborative. Lecture topic: Developing a Values-Based Framework for Decision-Making in Technology Assessment (and Health). Join Dr. Murray Krahn, 2014 recipient of the Dr. Jill M. Sanders Award of Excellence in Health Technology Assessment, for a discussion of the factors to be considered in developing a fair, transparent, and values-based framework for decisions about the adoption and use of health technologies.


Screening Canadians for hepatitis C infection could be cost-effective and save lives

Congratulations to William Wong, PhD, Decision Modeler at THETA and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, on his newest publication: Cost-effectiveness of screening for hepatitis C in Canada. CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) just published media release and CMAJ Twitter feed is already abuzz with this important news.


THETA contributes to the upcoming 2015 CADTH Symposium.

This year 2015 CADTH Symposium theme is “What does the evidence say? HTA to support policy and practice”; it is held at TCU Place in Saskatoon, SK on April 12 – 14, 2015. THETA staff substantial contribution includes workshops, oral and poster presentations as well as discussion panels.


Complex Interventions for Comparative Effectiveness and Health Technology Assessment. Valeria E. Rac, Lusine Abrahamyan and Murray D Krahn
This is an introductory-level workshop about complex interventions and their increasing role in the comparative effectiveness and health technology assessment research. The course provides theoretical frameworks and practical guidance for the design, implementation and evaluation of the complex interventions. Real world examples will be used throughout - April 12, 2015; 9:00 am - 12pm.

Issues in the analysis of healthcare cost data. Nicholas Mitsakakis, Petros Pechlivanoglou - April 12, 2015; 9:00 am - 12pm

Integrating NMA in economic evaluations. Petros PechlivanoglouNicholas Mitsakakis - April 12, 2015; 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Panel Sessions

Public policy in the post-interferon era: Can we afford to cure Hepatitis C?  Murray Krahn (moderator), William W.L. Wong, Alnoor Ramji, Kevin Wilson - April 13 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Improving the Appraisal of Non-Drug Technologies: Revising the Ontario Decision Framework. Presenters: Murray Krahn, Fiona Miller, Ann-Sylvia BrookerValeria E Rac, (Moderator); Authors: Krahn M, Miller FA, Bayoumi A, Giacomini M, Goeree R, Wagner F, Winsor S, Schunemann H, van deVelde G, Pham B, Petersen S - April 14; 13:00 – 14:30 pm

Oral Presentations

Cost-effectiveness of a one-time national hepatitis C screening program: impact of a selective drug reimbursement policy. William W.L. Wong, Jordan Feld, Murray Krahn - April 14, 2015; 10:15 – 11:45 am

An alternative parameterization of Bayesian logistic hierarchical models for mixed treatment comparisons. Petros Pechlivanoglou - April 14, 2015; 10:15 – 11:45 am

Two solitudes: HTA and procurement as pathways to the adoption of health technologies. Miller A Fiona, Barg C, Krahn M, Lehoux P, Peacock S, Rac VE. - April 14; 10:15 – 11:45 am

Poster Presentations

All poster presentations will be held during the Welcome Reception on the evening of April 12.

Implementation challenges of a community-based pragmatic randomized controlled trial in wound care. Valeria E Rac, Josephine Wong, Nicholas Mitsakakis, Eva Haratsidis and Murray Krahn

Analysis of aggregate health care cost data using Bayesian mixed models. Nicholas Mitsakakis, George Tomlinson

Benefits of transformations in mapping health utilities. Nicholas Mitsakakis, Karen Bremner and Murray Krahn

Projecting mortality rates in Economic Evaluation: A simulation study. Petros Pechlivanoglou, Lusine Abrahamyan, Ba' Pham, Serena Hsu, Mike Paulden, Murray Krahn

Including the patient’s family in cost-effectiveness analysis of end-of-life interventions. Ba' Pham, Fowler R, P Tanuseputro, D Manuel, N Sikich, S Baidoobonso, P Pechlivanoglou, L Levin, D Guerriere, P Coyte, M Krahn

Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Post-Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Cost-Effectiveness and Budget Impact Analysis. Xuanqian Xie, Myra Wang, Alexis Schaink, Murray Krahn

Cost effectiveness analysis of islet transplantation in patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Xuanqian Xie, Benjamin Rich, Nandini Dendukuri


THETA Collaborative presents at the upcoming Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) 2014 – 36th Annual North American Meeting. This year’s theme: Medical Decision Making Among Diverse Populations: Advancing Practice, Policy, and Science, October 18 - 22, 2014, Miami, FL.

SMDM 2014


Short Course

Complex Interventions for Comparative Effectiveness and Health Technology AssessmentValeria E. Rac, MD, PhD, Lusine Abrahamyan, MD, MPH,PhD and Murray D Krahn, MD, MSc.  

This is an introductory-level course about complex interventions and their increasing role in the comparative effectiveness and health technology assessment research. The course provides theoretical frameworks and practical guidance for the design, implementation and evaluation of the complex interventions. Real world examples will be used throughout.

Oral Presentations

Implementation Challenges of a Community-Based Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial in Wound Care. Josephine F Wong, MD, Valeria E. Rac, MD, PhD, Nicholas Mitsakakis, MSc, PhD, Eva Haratsidis, BSc, RN and Murray D. Krahn, MD, MSc. 

Analysis of Healthcare Costs in Patients with Acute Whiplash-Associated Disorders Using Zero-Adjusted Gamma Models. Shahriar Shams, MA, Lusine Abrahamyan, MD, MPH, PhD, Gabrielle van der Velde, DC, PhD and Nicholas Mitsakakis, MSc, PhD.

The Impact of Estimating Mortality Rates in Cost-Effectiveness Analysis: A Simulation StudyPetros Pechlivanoglou, PhD, Lusine Abrahamyan, MD, MPH, PhD, Ba' Pham, MSc, PhD (c), Mike Paulden, MA, MSc. and Murray D Krahn, MD, MSc. 

Poster Presentations

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Palliative Team Care for Patients Nearing End-Of-Life. Ba' Pham, MSc, PhD (c), Robert A. Fowler, MD, MSc, Peter Tanuseputro, MD, MHSc, Douglas Manuel, MD, MSc, Nancy Sikich, MSc, Shamara Baidoobonso, MSc, PhD, Petros Pechlivanoglou, PhD, Les Levin, MD, MSc and Murray D. Krahn, MD, MSc.

Cost-Effectiveness of Hepatitis B Virus Screening Before Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Patients with Early Stage Breast Cancer. William W. L. Wong, PhD, Lisa K. Hicks, MD, MSc, Hong Anh Tu, PhD, Murray D. Krahn, MD, MSc, Kathleen I. Pritchard, MD, MSc, Jordan J. Feld, MD, MPH and Kelvin Chan, MD, MSc.  

Cost-Effectiveness of Screening Hepatitis C in Canada. William W. L. Wong, PhD, Hong Anh Tu, PhD, Jordan J. Feld, MD, MPH, Tom Wong, MD, MPH and Murray D. Krahn, MD, MSc.  

Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Systematic Referral to Multidisciplinary Wound Care Teams in Ontario. Evidence from the Wound Interdisciplinary Teams (Wit) Trial. Mengzhu Jiang, MSc, Petros Pechlivanoglou, PhD, Josephine F Wong, MD, Nicholas Mitsakakis, MSc, PhD, Steven M. Carcone, MSc, Ba' Pham, MSc, PhD (c), Valeria E. Rac, MD, PhD and Murray D Krahn, MD, MSc.  

Wound Interdisciplinary Teams (Wit): A Community-Based Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial. Valeria E. Rac, MD PhD, Josephine Wong, MD, Nicholas Mitsakakis, MSc PhD, Petros Pechlivanoglou, PhD, Steven M. Carcone, MSc and Murray D. Krahn, MD, MSc.

For more information about this conference, please check SMDM website.

Posted on Aug 2014

The MaRS Excellence in Clinical Innovation and Technology Evaluation program (MaRS EXCITE), is now accepting applications! Apply by September 19, 2014.

MaRS EXCITE invites all medical device companies and innovators to apply to the program so that disruptive effective health technologies can get to market faster for improved health outcomes – in Ontario and globally.
EXCITE is a partnership between government, the healthcare system, academia, clinicians and industry, launched in late 2011.
At the end of the program, companies receive a high quality EXCITE core evidentiary bundle, they can use for both Health Canada licensing and an application to the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) for recommendation to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and other reimbursement and purchasing reviewers.
Why apply?

  • EXCITE’s single, harmonized process mitigates risk and costs to investors and industry through pre market endorsements and increased efficiency
  • Gain earlier feedback on technology from regulators, payers, clinical experts and market experts to reduce delays and unnecessary development costs
  • Provides way to engage health system and negotiate conditions for adoption before launch
  • Multicentre studies involving markets of choice creates an efficient single platform to evaluate technologies across multiple jurisdictions in tandem with regulators and payers via EXCITE model

Current participants
11 technologies have been prioritized by the Ontario health system for the EXCITE program. For information on current participants: Medtronic of Canada, Apnea Dx, and Rna Diagnostics, click here.
How to apply
For more information on eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit the “How to Apply to EXCITE” section. Applications are due on September 19, 2014.
EXCITE Infosession
EXCITE will be holding an infosession with the opportunity for Q & A on August 21, 2014 from 2:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m at the MaRS Centre.
Sign up for the infosession today >>
For more information on EXCITE, please visit our website

THETA's study on  Mapping the Myelofibrosis Symptom Assessment Form (MFSAF) and Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Symptom Assessment From (MPN-SAF) to the EQ-5D is still enrolling participants.

The purpose of this study is to develop a statistical model to map scores on two myelofibrosis (MF)-specific descriptive quality of life instruments, the Myelofibrosis Symptom Assessment Form (MFSAF) and Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Symptom Assessment Form (MPN-SAF), and the EQ-5D, a generic preference-based utility instrument. This will enable the estimation of utility values based on MFSAF and MPN-SAF data. We are looking for the optimal statistical model and algorithm to map the MFSAF and MPN-SAF to the EQ-5D.

The team conducting this study is still looking for eligible participants. Please contact Chang Ho Lee at changho.lee@mail.utoronto.ca or 647-982-7317, if you are or know a patient diagnosed with MF and you are interested in participating in the survey. For more information about this study please go to our Current Studies page.

Congratulations to Dr. Claire de Oliveira and Dr. Murray Krahn newest recipients of CIHR Partnerships for Health System Improvement Grant!

Canadian Institutes of Health Research recently awarded Claire de Oliveira, MA PhD and Murray Krahn, MD MSc the Partnerships for Health System Improvement Grant in 2013-2014 Competition. The proposed study "Using Administrative Health Care Data to Inform Cancer Care Policy in Canada" will measure costs of cancer care for patients diagnosed with prostate, breast, colorectal or lung cancer in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and Nova Scotia a health system perspective, and to determine the factors that influence utilization and costs.

Principal Investigator(s): De Oliveira, Claire; Matheson, Garth R; Krahn, Murray D

Please check CIHR website for more details.

Dr. Murray Krahn received of 2014 Dr. Jill M. Sanders Award of Excellence in Health Technology Assessment

Video of Dr Krahn introduction and his available here.

Dr. William Wong receives one-year operating grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Congratulations!!!

Dr. Wong, THETA's decision modeller, is a new recipient of a one-year CIHR operating grant – Hepatitis C Priority Announcement to conduct a pilot study. His grant titled “Cross sectional and longitudinal measures of quality of life and utility among patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection”

Co-PI: Krahn M.. Co-Investigators: Bruneau J., Feld J., Feng Z.Z., Lee S.S., Mitsakakis, N. Myers, R.P., Pechlivanoglous, P., Powis, J., Rac, V.E

Please check CIHR website for more details.

Dr. Harindra Wijeysundera and Dr. William Wong's work described in the latest Elsevier press release.

On June 3, 2014 in  Philadelphia, PA, Elsevier published a news release commenting on the results of an article published in Canadian Journal of Cardiology by Dr. Harindra Wijeysundera and Dr. William Wong, et al.: "Impact of wait times on the effectiveness of transcatheter aortic-valve replacement (TAVR) in severe aortic valve disease: a discrete event simulation model".

A team of investigators from the University of Toronto including Dr. William Wong, and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto used mathematical modelling to simulate the results from the PARTNER randomized trial with increasing TAVR wait times. “To our knowledge, our study is the first in the literature to evaluate the effect of delayed access to TAVR, and provides insight into the importance of wait time on outcomes,” says lead investigator Harindra C. Wijeysundera, MD, PhD, of the Schulich Heart Centre, University of Toronto.

Addtional Resources:

Full text of the Elsevier press release

“Impact of Wait Times on the Effectiveness of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in Severe Aortic Valve Disease: A Discrete Event Simulation Model,” by Harindra C. Wijeysundera, MD, PhD, William W.L. Wong, PhD, Maria C. Bennell, MSc, MPH, Stephen E. Fremes, MD, Sam Radhakrishnan, MD, Mark Peterson, MD, PhD, and Dennis T. Ko, MD, MSc, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2014.03.009.

Editorial: “Monitoring Wait Times for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation: A Need for National Benchmarks,” by Sandra Lauck, RN, PhD, Dion Stub, MBBS, PhD, and John Webb, MD, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2014.05.006.

Science Newsline Medicine

THETA receives the Health Technology Fund Program Award

Health Quality Ontario’s (HQO) recently announced the results of the 2014/2017 Health Technology Fund Program Request for Proposal Competition. After a rigorous, competitive process four successful candidates were selected, among them the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative (THETA).

The Health Technology Fund (HTF) Program promotes evidence-based analyses and supports the operation of Evidence-Based Program (EBP) Centers that focus on three areas: decision analyses/economic evaluations, evidence synthesis and field evaluations or usability studies.

Dr. Murray Krahn receives of 2014 Dr. Jill M. Sanders Award of Excellence in Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

Sincere congratulations from the entire THETA team to our Program Director, Dr. Murray Krahn on receiving the prestigious Dr. Jill M. Sanders Award of Excellence in Health Technology Assessment from CADTH and HTA community. Dr. Krahn received the award at 2014 CADTH Annual Meeting during an official Awards Luncheon ceremony.
Dr. Brian O’Rourke, President and CEO of CADTH stated “Dr. Murray Krahn has long been one of the brightest leaders in the field of HTA in Canada. This recognition is a testament to his exceptional contributions to the methodology of HTA, but also his dedication to nurturing and mentoring the next generation of scientists.”
The Dr. Jill M. Sanders Award of Excellence in Health Technology Assessment recognizes and celebrates individuals whose outstanding achievements have significantly advanced the field of health technology assessment, evidence-based drug reviews, or optimal technology utilization in Canada. Please read the official announcement at CADTH website.


Dr. Petros Pechlivanoglou teaches at School of Pharmacy, Addis-Ababa University, Ethiopia

In 2008, the University of Toronto and the Addis-Ababa University in Ethiopia formed the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (TAAAC) with the aim of building and strengthening capacity and sustainability in medical specialities and other health and non-health professional programs in Addis Ababa.  Under the leadership of Dr. Heather Boon, the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy has partnered with the School of Pharmacy at Addis Ababa University to establish a PhD program in Social Pharmacy at AAU. As part of this collaboration, the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy has committed to provide faculty members to teach graduate courses in Addis.  Most recently, Dr. Petros Pechlivanoglou, one of THETA's health economists taught a  graduate course in Pharmacoeconomics at the School of Pharmacy of Addis Ababa University. The course gave Ethiopian graduate pharmacy students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the principles of economic evaluation of pharmaceutical products, technologies and services, as well as to implement these principles in healthcare decision problems. The experience was mutually rewarding as it gave Petros a better understanding of the peculiarities associated with conducting economic evaluations in low-income countries as well as it exposed him to the friendly, generous, hospitable and historically rich Ethiopian culture.

In addition to providing this graduate course, THETA will be hosting, from April on, one of the PhD students from the school of Pharmacy of Addis Ababa University. Mr. Eskinder Eshetu Ali will be visiting the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy for the next three  months to analyze the effects and costs of building capacity in mental health through the TAAAC program.

School of Pharmacy at Addis Ababa University


THETA's Health Technology Assessment Institute 2014

THETA together with the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University in collaboration with the Institute of Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, and the CIHR-STIHR Health Care, Technology and Place Program will host the 2014 Health Technology Assessment Institute for Decision Makers.
The HTA Institute will bring together experts from a range of disciplines to provide attendees with pragmatic tools for HTA. This three-day intensive course will be useful to individuals who use HTA to make decisions relating to drugs, devices, and programs.

Date: July 14-16, 2014
Place: Dalhousie University
Registration date: April 15th.

THETA is happy to announce the launch of SIESTA!

SIESTA Home Sleep Study with ApneaDx™ for the Diagnosis and Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea proposes to examine the validity, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of ApneaDx™, a new single-channel portable monitor designed to capture and analyze breath sounds to detect sleep apnea versus in-laboratory overnight sleep study with polysomnography – the gold standard for the diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnea.
SIESTA is both a multi-centre prospective validation study, as well as a pragmatic randomized single-blinded two armed non-inferiority trial. With a planned sample size of 330 participants, SIESTA will take approximately two years to complete. SIESTA is currently at the recruitment stage at the Kingston and Hamilton study sites. Dr. Mike Fitzpatrick is the lead Clinical Investigator at the Kingston Sleep Disorders Laboratory, with Nancy Farr as the onsite Study Coordinator. At the Hamilton Sleep Disorders Clinic, we have Dr. Ray Gottschalk as the Clinical Investigator and Jason Myers as the onsite Study Coordinator. REB submission is underway for our third site, Sleep & Apnea Assessment Unit in London Health Sciences Centre - Victoria Hospital with Dr. Charlie George.
ApneaDx™ is one of the first three companies selected by the MaRS Excellence in Clinical Innovation and Technology Evaluation (“EXCITE”) program.

Dr. Nicholas Mitsakakis organized a General Invited Session at the Annual Meeting of the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC).

This year University of Toronto is hosting the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC) in May 25-28, 2014. THETA biostatistician Nicholas Mitsakakis, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, and Eleanor Pullenayegum, Associate Professor, University of Toronto and  Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children, organized a General Invited Session: Statistical Issues in Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment. The session will feature three prominent speakers:

Andy Willan, Professor, University of Toronto
Kristian Thorlund, Assistant Professor, McMaster University
Heejung Bang, Professor, University of California at Davis

THETA hosts HTA researchers from Norway

THETA has invited Professor Ivar Sønbø Kristiansen and his team to an all day workshop to explore common areas of research interest and avenues for future collaboration. Professor Kristiansen is a member of the Economic Evaluation of Health Technologies research group from the University of Oslo. Associate Professor Torbjørn Wisløff, also a member of University of Oslo research team, works for the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services (NOKC). The meeting will take place at THETA offices on January 30th, 2014. Meeting Agenda.

Please check THETA News Archive for older items Back to Top

  • Health Quality Ontario
  • Cancer Care Ontario
  • Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto
  • Toronto General Hospital

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