Division of Health Economics

Prof. Dr. Michael Schlander

© dkfz.de

The Division of Health Economics at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) was established in January 2017. It became fully operational in October 2017, with an off-site meeting of the newly formed foundation team at the Eberbach Monastery near Eltville. At the retreat, a strategy for the Division was agreed on, along with a standards of conduct charter.

Accordingly, since its inauguration the aim of the Division has been to improve our understanding of the costs and cost effectiveness of cancer care—spanning the whole continuum from prevention and early detection/screening to diagnosis and treatment. To this end, the Division has commenced establishing interdisciplinary collaborations both within the DKFZ and its networks, as well as with other German and international scientific institutions.

Specifically, the DKFZ Division of Health Economics aims to:

  • Firmly establish the DKFZ, on a worldwide scale, among the top-10 centers of excellence for the economics of cancer care;
  • Become the leading center of excellence for the economics of cancer care in Germany,
    and as such, the primary national point of reference for information on the cost of cancer and the cost effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving cancer-related morbidity and mortality, including prevention, diagnostics, and treatment;
  • Constitute the DKFZ and its new Division a respected member of the international health economics community,
    and as such, 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 has been initiated that rests on three pillars:

  • Cancer-related burden of disease and cost of illness studies related to malignant disorders, in particular from the perspectives of society as a whole, as well as payers and patients,
    with increasing attention to the socioeconomic impact of a cancer diagnosis on patients and their relatives;
  • Comparative cost value (primarily, cost benefit and cost effectiveness) analyses of intervention strategies in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment;
  • Further development of health economic evaluation methods, including scientific exploration of advanced concepts such as “social cost value analysis,” driven by the rationale that the current methods do not capture relevant social norm preferences adequately,
    which may contribute to a systematic undervaluation to a systematic undervaluation of many cancer treatment options.
For more information on What We Do, please see here.

To better understand the Division of Health Economics’ scientific rationale, Professor Michael Schlander, head of the division, provided insight when interviewed by the BBC Scotland at the 20th Annual European Congress of the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR; Glasgow, Scotland; November 2017). Here are his answers to four topics he was asked about, i.e.,

In an interview for the periodical DKFZ Intern (February 2017), Professor Schlander provided further clarity.

It is expected that the approach adopted by the DKFZ Division of Health Economics will provide for a platform for further growth, generating relevant economic information to stakeholders, including health care policy makers and agencies concerned with Health Technology Assessments (HTAs), as well as contribute overall to the science of economic evaluation of cancer care and medical interventions.


Prof. Dr. Michael Schlander
Health Economics (C100)

Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Mailing address
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Visitors Address
Berliner Str. 47
69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Katrin Eike-Verfürth

k.eike-verfuerth (at) dkfz.de
Phone: +49 6221 42-1911
Fax: +49 6221 42-1919

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