Professor Alan Brennan BSc (London), MSc (London), PhD (Sheffield)


The University of Sheffield
Regent Court
30 Regent Street
S1 4DA


Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 0684
Fax: (+44) (0)114 272 4095



I am Professor of Health Economics and Decision Modelling at ScHARR, University of Sheffield, England.

I have been developing and applying modelling in support of healthcare decision-making nationally and internationally across a large range of diseases, interventions, service planning and policy issues for over 20 years.

I studied for BSc Mathematics at Imperial College London and then MSC Operational Research at the London School of Economics before joining the NHS to work in and then lead the Trent Operational Research Unit. Since  1994 I have been leading the modelling team at ScHARR.

Research interests

My fundamental interest is in mathematical modelling approaches to inform decision making in health and healthcare.

I have been heavily involved in health technology assessment and health economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals and interventions for both government bodies in the UK e.g NICE and internationally and also with pharmaceutical industry.

More recently I have engaged in a series of projects around wider behavioural and public health related modelling.

  • Use of modelling and data analysis to assess broader interventions
  • Assessing cost-effectiveness of new treatments for NICE
  • Bayesian methods in cost-effectiveness analysis to inform future research priorities (CHEBS)
  • Value of information and Bayesian methods to inform research priorities
  • Cost effectiveness modelling methods
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes, obesity, CHD Modelling
  • Pharmaco-economics
    - Alzheimer's
    - Renal disease
  • Health systems modelling
    - Cervical screening
    - Ambulance services
    - Re-engineering

Teaching Interests

I am Module co-ordinator on Cost-effectiveness Modelling for International HTA on the part-time distance learning Certificate/Diploma/Masters course in International Health Technology Assessment, Pricing & Reimbursement targetted at people working in international pharmaceutical and device manufacturer companies or international reimbursement authorities . For details see MSc IHTAP&R webpages

I teach and supervise Masters level dissertation students on the MSc Health Economics and Decision Modelling.  I am the former Course Director for this course, which aims to develop professional level health economist modellers, people who can design and build models and other health economic evaluation projects in a lead role as soon as they graduate from the course.

I also supervise PhD students in Health economics and Decision Modelling including 2 current students working on Bayesian Clinical trial Simulation (BCTS) and cost-effectiveness modelling.  Penny Watson is working on BCTS in Systemic lupus erythematosus.  Paul Richards is working on BCTS in breast cancer.  I am also on the supervisory panel for the PhD of Suzy Paisley on issues around Searching for Evidence and the Development of Health Economic Models and was lead supervisor for the recently completed NIHR Fellowship PhD project of Paul Tappenden on Whole Systems Modelling for Bowel Cancer.

Please email me at if you would like to consider a PhD programme, and go to the ScHARR PhD pages for more information.

Professional activities

I am a member of SMDM,ISPOR,HTAi,iHEA,HESG,Operational Research Society

I am currently a co-editor for the journal Value in Health

I have been an expert on several NICE Scientific Advice Programme panels prividing input to the design of phase III studies from an economic/NICE perpsective usually for global pharmeceutical and device manufacturers.

Current projects

  • [list currently being updated]

Key Recent Publications

  • Kharroubi, SA, Brennan A. 2011. A Novel Formulation for Approximate Bayesian Computation Based on Signed Roots of Log-Density Ratios. Advances and Applications in Statistics. 22(1):57-76.
    Kharroubi, SA, Brennan A, Strong M. 2011. Estimating Expected Value of Sample Information for Incomplete Data Models Using Bayesian Approximation. Medical Decision Making.
  • Meier, P.S., Brennan, A., Purshouse, P. (2010) Policy Options for Alcohol Price Regulation: The Importance of Modelling Population Heterogeneity. Addiction 105(3):383-393
  • Purshouse, R., Meier, P., Brennan, A., Taylor, K., Rafia, R. (2010). Estimated effect of alcohol pricing policies on health epidemiological model. Lancet, 375(9723), 1355-64.
  • Oakley J, Brennan A, Tappenden P, Chilcott J (2010) Simulation sample sizes for Monte Carlo partial EVPI calculations. Journal of Health Economics, 29 (3), 468-477
  • Nagy B, Brennan A, Brandtmuller A, Thomas SK, Sullivan SD, Akehurst R (2010).  Assessing the cost-effectiveness of the rivastigmine transdermal patch for Alzheimer`s disease in the UK using MMSE- and ADL-based models.  International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry; doi: 10.1002/gps.2551, -
  • Nixon RM, Bansback N, Stevens JW, Brennan A, Madan J (2009).  Using short-term evidence to predict six-month outcomes in clinical trials of signs and symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis.  Pharmaceutical Statistics, 8 150-162.
  • Tappenden P, Chilcott J, Brennan A, Pilgrim H (2009).  Systematic review of economic evidence for the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of colorectal cancer in the United Kingdom.  International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 25 (4), 470-478
  • Nixon RM, O’Hagan A, Oakley J, Madan J, Stevens JW, Bansback N, Brennan A (2009).  The Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Development Model: A case study in Bayesian clinical trial simulation.  Pharmaceutical Statistics, 8 371-389
  • Brennan A, Kharroubi S, O'Hagan A and Chilcott J. Calculating Partial Expected Value of Perfect Information via Monte Carlo Sampling Algorithms. Medical Decision Making 2007, 27: 448-470
  • Brennan A and Kharroubi S. Expected Value of Sample Information for Weibull Survival Data. (accepted in Health Economics)
  • Brennan A Chick SE, and Davies R. A taxonomy of model structures for economic evaluation of health technologies. Health Economics 2006, 15: 1295-1310.
  • Brennan A and Kharroubi S. Efficient computation of partial expected value of sample information using Bayesian approximation. Journal of Health Economics 2007, 26: 122-148.
  • Warren E, Brennan A, and Akehurst R. Cost effectiveness of sibutramine in the treatment of obesity. Medical Decision Making 2004, 24: 9-19.
  • Brennan A, Bansback N, Reynolds A and Conway P. Modelling the cost effectiveness of etanercept in adults with rheumatoid arthritis in the UK. Rheumatology 2004, 43: 62-72.

You can see a fuller list using our publications database here