— New members bring expertise in broad range of perspectives, including patient advocacy, health policy, economics, and clinical practice —

BOSTON, May 14, 2020 – The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has appointed new members to each of its three independent evidence Appraisal Councils: the California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF), the Midwest Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (Midwest CEPAC), and the New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (New England CEPAC).

“Each of the independent Appraisal Councils plays a vital role,” noted Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc, President of ICER. “As experts in evaluating evidence across many fields, they bring a sharp eye to judgments about the strengths and limitations of evidence on the comparative clinical effectiveness of different health care interventions. Through their public deliberations, the Appraisal Councils also have the opportunity to hear further input directly from patient representatives, clinical experts, and other stakeholders. In their deliberations and votes the Appraisal Councils integrate these considerations, thereby bringing into the open many of the key issues that insurers and other policymakers will be weighing. The Appraisal Councils thus can improve the transparency, and the inclusivity, of the process through which evidence is interpreted and translated into pricing and access decisions.”

“The discussions during each of ICER’s public meetings reflect the dedication, thoughtfulness, and rigor of each member of these Councils, and we look forward to the perspectives that this year’s distinguished new members will add. As part of our commitment to ensuring patient perspectives are central to informing our reviews, ICER has recruited even more Appraisal Council members that have a background in examining evidence-based analyses and working with patient advocacy organizations.”

Appraisal Councils are regionally-based experts in areas including outcomes research, health economics, technology assessment, medical ethics, patient access and advocacy, and clinical practice. Council members are chosen based on their expertise in reviewing and applying medical evidence in a variety of contexts and are not selected based on their specific expertise in a given clinical area. All members must meet strict conflict of interest criteria to participate in ICER’s meetings.

The newest members of each of the Councils include:


Afsaneh Barzi, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Oncology, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center

Kathryn A. Philips, PhD
Professor of Health Economics and Health Services Research; Director and Founder, UCSF Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine; Dept. of Clinical Pharmacy/School of Pharmacy, UCSF Institute for Health Policy Studies and UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center

Joanna Smith, LCSW, MPH, CHA
Chief Executive Officer, Healthcare Liaison, Inc.

Anthony Sowry, BA
Patient Advocate and Lead Volunteer, California, National Patient Advocate Foundation; Senior Vice President, Maritime Container Shipping (Retired)

Midwest CEPAC

Alan Balch, PhD
Chief Executive Officer, Patient Advocate Foundation, National Patient Advocate Foundation

Angela Brown, MPH
Chief Executive Officer, St. Louis Regional Health Commission (RHC)

Bradley Martin, PharmD, PhD
Professor, Division of Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Policy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy

Yngve Falck-Ytter, MD, AGAF
Professor of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University; Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System, Cleveland

New England CEPAC

Kelly Buckland, MS
Executive Director, National Council on Independent Living

Megan Golden, JD
Co-Director, Mission:Cure

Tara Lavelle, PhD
Assistant Professor, Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health, Tufts Medical Center

Rebecca Kirch, JD
Executive Vice President, Health Care Quality and Value, National Patient Advocate Foundation

Visit ICER’s website to find biographies for each new and existing member of CTAF, Midwest CEPAC, or New England CEPAC, as well as information on each program’s upcoming meetings.

About ICER

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) is an independent non-profit research institute that produces reports analyzing the evidence on the effectiveness and value of drugs and other medical services. ICER’s reports include evidence-based calculations of prices for new drugs that accurately reflect the degree of improvement expected in long-term patient outcomes, while also highlighting price levels that might contribute to unaffordable short-term cost growth for the overall health care system.

ICER’s reports incorporate extensive input from all stakeholders and are the subject of public hearings through three core programs: the California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF), the Midwest Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (Midwest CEPAC), and the New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (New England CEPAC). These independent panels review ICER’s reports at public meetings to deliberate on the evidence and develop recommendations for how patients, clinicians, insurers, and policymakers can improve the quality and value of health care. For more information about ICER, please visit ICER’s website.