December 1, 2023
AUBURN, Alabama – Dr. Surachat Ngorsuraches, associate professor in the Harrison College of Pharmacy’s Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, recently received the 2023 Frontier Award in Value Assessment from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, Foundation. The award provides $500,000 in funding over three years.
The award is supporting his project titled “Using Patient-Centered Multicriteria Decision Analysis to Assess the Value of Multiple Sclerosis Treatments: Voices from the Deep South States.”
The Frontier Award is granted through the PhRMA Foundation’s recently launched Value Assessment and Health Outcomes Research program, which bolsters the empirical testing of value assessment methods. Ngorsuraches’ research in value assessment allows health care payers, and society as a whole, on the value placed on care and treatments and where to spend or invest in health care technology.
As part of the study, Ngorsuraches will build value assessment capacity in the Deep South states and then engage them in a multicriteria decision analysis to assess the value of disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis.
When looking at states in the Deep South, he says it is important to evaluate treatments because of health disparities that exist.
“I am focusing on this area because the Deep South states have experienced health disparities and usually their voices are not heard,” said Ngorsuraches. “This is particularly important for multiple sclerosis because the disease affects African Americans more aggressively. Also, multiple sclerosis treatments are relatively expensive and their costs would impact more on people in the Deep South states which tend to have inferior social determinants of health.”
To conduct the research, Ngorsuraches is using multicriteria decision analysis, a practice used to make decisions when multiple criteria or objectives need to be considered together in order to rank or choose between alternatives.
“Multicriteria decision analysis allows me to capture various value elements including equity and also allow me to engage patients and their family members in the value assessment process,” said Ngorsuraches.
Using this information, he hopes to provide insight for treatments for those who need it most.
“The findings will allow health care providers and payers to choose the preferred multiple sclerosis treatments for patients in the Deep South, who again are more vulnerable,” said Ngorsuraches.
Auburn University’s Harrison College of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 25 percent of all pharmacy programs in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the College offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. The College's commitment to world-class scholarship and interdisciplinary research speaks to Auburn's overarching Carnegie R1 designation that places Auburn among the top 100 doctoral research universities in the nation. For more information about the College, please call 334.844.8348 or visit http://pharmacy.auburn.edu.