Newswise — The PhRMA Foundation today announced its call for candidates for the 2019 Value Assessment Challenge Awards, which provide a total of $85,000 to support papers that advance solutions to the following question: What are innovative, patient-centered approaches to contribute to health care value assessment that move beyond the inherent limitations of analyses based on the quality-adjusted life year metric?

Stakeholders are increasingly looking for tools to support health care decision-making, particularly to improve the efficiency of our health care system. However, common approaches to measure value in health care, including the Quality-Adjusted Life Year (QALY), are often criticized for methodological, contextual and ethical shortcomings. Additionally, in the 30 years since the QALY was first introduced, the practice of medicine has become increasingly personalized, and our health care system has become increasingly complex. There have been significant advances in scientific innovation, including the development of high-cost curative therapies, and an increased ability to capture and utilize patient data. The current environment has only served to highlight the limitations of QALYs in measuring the value of health care.

“The PhRMA Foundation is seeking papers that offer new approaches to value measurement that move beyond the limitations of traditional QALY-based analysis,” said PhRMA Foundation President Eileen Cannon. “We will give special consideration to papers that focus on collaboration across stakeholder groups and fields of discipline, approaching the challenge question from the perspective of non-health care sector sources, individuals or organizations.”

The winner will receive $50,000, the runner-up will receive $25,000, and third and fourth place awardees will receive $5,000. The PhRMA Foundation will host a public forum in 2019 to highlight activities funded by this program, where awardees will present their winning papers.

Candidates for 2019 Challenge Awards should submit letters of intent (not to exceed 600 words) to the Foundation no later than March 15, 2019 to initiate the application process. Qualified applicants will be contacted no later than April 1, 2019, with a request to submit the full paper describing their response to the challenge question.

To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $2.8 million to support a variety of innovative research projects to help the United States make a successful transition to a value-based health care system. The Challenge Awards, first offered in 2017, are one component of the Foundation’s multi-faceted Value Assessment Initiative.

For more information on submission guidelines and background, visit:

To learn more about the PhRMA Foundation, please visit


About the PhRMA Foundation

For more than 50 years, the PhRMA Foundation has been helping to build a larger pool of highly-trained, top-quality scientists to meet the growing needs of scientific and academic institutions, government, and the research-intensive pharmaceutical industry. To advance this mission, the PhRMA Foundation has awarded more than $90 million in competitive research fellowships and grants since its founding. 

The Foundation’s emphasis on evidence-based research that determines the true value of medicines is supported by its Value Assessment Initiative.  To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $2.8 million to support a variety of research projects to help advance this goal, including the establishment of four national Centers of Excellence in Value Assessment.

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