Health economics to direct better resourcing decisions

Dr Julie Campbell

Menzies Institute for Medical Research, TAS

| Better treatments | Social And Applied Research | Fellowship | 2020 | Investigator Led Research |


To successfully advocate for new MS therapies and resources to help combat MS, we need evidence to show the great impact MS has on individuals and the country. Dr Julie Campbell’s research will provide the world’s first integrated and objective set of MS-specific health economic tools to assist building the strong economic cases to advocate for more resources.

Previously this group has prepared a landmark research report, the Health Economic Impact of Multiple Sclerosis in Australia in 2017 report, which analysed the cost of MS in Australia both to the individual and the general Australian population. It showed that, while the number of Australians living with MS continues to rise, the course of the disease is shifting with more people able to stay in work, and needing less care and support as a result of newer more readily available medications. The report also found that the costs for people living with more advanced MS are incredibly high, more than triple per person compared to those with milder disease. The quality of life impact for people living with severe disability is comparable to, or even greater than that reported for terminal metastatic cancer, chronic kidney disease and severe heart disease.

Therefore, to optimise the chance of getting decision-makers to back worthwhile treatments and interventions to halt the progression of disease severity, or to prevent the disease from occurring in the first place, Dr Campbell and her team will develop a suite of health economics tools that will help provide evidence which can be used to lobby for more resources and support in the MS sector. This comprehensive and integrated suite of tools will also study the costs and quality of life impacts for progressive onset MS specifically.

Progress to Date

COVID-19 restrictions impacted on the study just as it was getting started, but despite this, Dr Campbell and her team have gathered the data needed to begin understanding the effects of MS on quality of life and ways that this can be reported by people living with MS. To date, the data collected has been so rich that Dr Campbell will be able to extend the study to answer more questions than initially planned. Working through the [Australian MS Longitudinal study (AMSLS)] (, a total of 1683 people responded to the study questions.  Internationally in the quality-of-life space, this research has gained attention, including an award as a Finalist for an abstract presented at the International Society for Quality-of Life World Congress in October 2020: Methodological challenges of using dissimilar multi-attribute utility instruments for people with MS: a direct comparison of commonly used instruments”.

Updated: 15 April 2021

Updated: 21 January, 2020

Stages of the research process

Fundamental laboratory

Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 10+ years

Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.

Lab to clinic timeline: 5+ years
Clinical Studies
and Clinical Trials

Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 1-5 years


  • Dr Julie Campbell


Grant Awarded

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship

Total Funding

  • $180,000


  • 3 years

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Dr Wolfgang Marx

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Health economics to direct better resourcing decisions