Division of Health Economics

Prof. Dr. Michael Schlander

The Division of Health Economics at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) was newly established in 2017. Its work will build on current and prior projects in the areas of Health Technology Assessment (HTA), economic evaluation, social value measurement, health-related quality of life research, as well as cost and health care utilization studies.
Work priorities of the division will be strictly science-driven, guided by policy-relevance. Members of the division are expected to be aware of political implications but to not act as political players.
The general approach will be characterized as multidisciplinary and inclusive, by plurality of thought and method, and by openness and transparency.
Key features will consistently include transparency of value judgments, a culture of mutual support and mentoring of young scientists, ethical conduct and adherence to “best practice” standards.
The division shall hereby contribute to the advancement of applied health economics, to our understanding of the economics of cancer care, and to improvements of the effectiveness and efficiency of medical care for cancer patients.

The aims of the new Division for Health Economics at the DKFZ (German Cancer Research Center or Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum), dedicated to exploring the economics of cancer care, include

  • to firmly establish the DKFZ, on a worldwide scale, among the top-10 centers of excellence for the economics of cancer care;
  • to become the undisputed top (number one) center of excellence for the economics of cancer care in Germany,
  • to make the new DKFZ unit an important contributor to the further development of health economic evaluation methods (better) reflecting social objectives of collectively financed health schemes,
To this end, a research program is proposed that initially will rest on three pillars, namely,
  • cancer-related burden of disease and cost if illness studies related to malignant disorders, from perspectives relevant for valid cost of illness, cost benefit, cost effectiveness, and social cost value analyses, i.e., in particular from those of society as a whole as well as of payers and patients;
  • comparative cost value, cost benefit and cost effectiveness analyses of intervention strategies in cancer care and prevention;
  • further development of health economic evaluation methods, driven by the rationale that currently used methods may not capture social norms and preferences adequately, which in turn has the potential to result in systematic undervaluation of certain cancer treatment options.
It is expected that this approach will create a platform for further growth of the division, providing relevant economic information to stakeholders including health care policy makers, and contributing to the science of economic evaluation of cancer care and medical interventions in general.


Prof. Dr. Michael Schlander
Health Economics (C100)
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Im Neuenheimer Feld 581
69120 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 6221 42-1910
Fax: +49 6221 42-1919
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