Subhash Pokhrel, PhD is a professor of health economics and leads the Health Economics Research Group (HERG). He was the Head of Department of Health Sciences between 2018 and 2023. His research has largely been around supporting health systems to deliver efficient healthcare as well as strengthening health research systems to support more research into healthcare.
Subhash's research has contributed to several public health policies. The two REF2021 impact case studies - Supporting tobacco control decision making for improved health and economic productivity and Informaing policies and debates on breastfeeding promotion describe Subhash's approach to developing a programme of research and generate significant impact from them. His learning about how researchers can engage with and support goverments and wider stakeholders to make investment decisions in public health is underpinned by his and colleagues' earlier work around the suite of NICE Public Health ROI Tools. These ROI tools provided the basis for many public health investment decisions in England and were informed by the work on tobacco control led by Subhash. The ROI tools are practical, customisable models to help make real-world decisions in context of local, regional and national government decision-making.
Economic arguments are needed to make the business case for public health investments. Subhash led the roll out of ROI work to several European nations through a €2 million multi-centre European Commission funded study, EQUIPT. He has been the coordinator of a large scale inter-disciplinary collaboration of national and international expertise. Subhash is the lead author of a book, ROI in Public Health Policy: Supporting Decision Making (Palgrave Macmillan).
Subhash’s work in public health research has been as diverse as the discipline itself – from developing a household decision making pathway for child health care in low- and middle income countries (LMICs) to quantifying the economic impact of breastfeeding promotion in industrialised countries; from evaluating health insurance for its population health impact in LMICs to finding out what interventions could improve physical activity globally.
Most recently, his doctoral researchers have investigated whether integrated care models, particularly in a local area in England, are effective; what determines obesity in West Africa and particularly the role of physical activity and dietary habits to reduce obesity among adults in Ghana; and what the correlates of COVID-19 hospitalisations and long-COVID in Ghana were. His visiting student from Sri Lanka has investigated the economics of physical activity in LMICs. Such research evidence, particularly in LMICs, is key to developing and evaluating public health measures for their value for money.
Subhash is intrigued not only by "health systems" questions (e.g. In LMICs and industrialised countries, what works to improve population health outcomes and at what cost?) but also by "health research systems" questions. Subhash worked with the WHO Euro to review the evidence on policies, interventions and tools for establishing and/or strengthening national health research systems and their effectiveness. In particular, Subhash and colleagues have investigated the extent of integration of research (particularly economic evaluations) into policymaking in Spain and what implications the Spanish experience could have globally for strenthening both systems.
As a member of various external committees (NICE Technology Appraisal, NIHR PGfAHR and SPI-B), Subhash has contributed to decision making processes around funding of medical technologies, research in applied health, and behavioural measures to tackle public health emergencies.
Leader, Health Economics Research Group (HERG)
Former Head of Department of Health Sciences (2018-2023)
Ex-Module Lead: Economic Evaluation in Human Genomics in MSc Genomic Medicine (Imperial College London)
Lead, European-study on quanitfying utility of investment in protection from tobacco (EQUIPT)
Newest selected publications
Siddiqi, K., Elsey, H., Khokhar, MA., Marshall, AM., Pokhrel, S., Arora, M., (2023) 'Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 2030 - A Program to Accelerate the Implementation of World Health Organization Framework Convention for Tobacco Control in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation'. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 25 (6). pp. 1074 - 1081. ISSN: 1462-2203et al.
Banstola, A., Pokhrel, S., Hayhoe, B., Nicholls, D., Harris, M. and Anokye, N. (2023) 'Economic evaluations of interventional opportunities for the management of mental-physical multimorbidity: a systematic review'. BMJ Open, 13 (2). pp. 1 - 10. ISSN: 2044-6055 Open Access Link
Mansour, MHH., Pokhrel, S., Birnbaum, M. and Anokye, N. (2022) 'Effectiveness of a population-based integrated care model in reducing hospital activity: an interrupted time series analysis'. Integrated Healthcare Journal, 4 (1). pp. 1 - 11. ISSN: 2399-5351 Open Access Link
Siddiqui, F., Bauld, L., Croucher, R., Jackson, C., Kellar, I., Kanaan, M., (2022) 'Behavioural support and nicotine replacement therapy for smokeless tobacco cessation: protocol for a pilot randomised-controlled multi-country trial'. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 8 (1). pp. 1 - 12. ISSN: 2055-5784 Open Access Linket al.
Trapero-Bertran, M., Pokhrel, S. and Hanney, S. (2022) 'Research can be integrated into public health policy-making: global lessons for and from Spanish economic evaluations'. Health Research Policy and Systems, 20 (1). pp. 1 - 11. ISSN: 1478-4505 Open Access Link