Does the apple fall far from tree? Economic evaluation of genomic testing in child health.

Speaker: Wendy Ungar

Date: Friday, November 25th from 10 AM – 12 PM

Location: HS 100 (Health Sciences Building, 155 College Street, Toronto ON)


The practice of medicine is evolving to embrace complex technology within a health system that faces budget constraints. At the same time, there is a desire to personalize care based on a patient’s particular health needs. Clinical genome and exome sequencing (CGES), by detecting all genetic variants present, is poised to exert a profound effect on practice by allowing a more detailed diagnosis, improving prediction of response to drug therapy and expanding our ability to assess risk and predict outcomes for a growing number of diseases. CGES may be particularly useful in children since early identification of risk and early intervention can result in long-lasting benefit. While CGES may improve prognosis and avoid unnecessary and less informative tests, CGES and the referrals that ensue will add cost to an already burdened health system. It is therefore essential to understand the role and value of CGES in child health. This talk will present the challenges in economic evaluation in child health, with special emphasis on assessing the value of CGES technologies in children.




Wendy Ungar MSc, PhD is a Senior Scientist in Child Health Evaluative Sciences at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada, Professor in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and is the Director of TASK – Technology Assessment at Sick Kids. Dr. Ungar leads a program of research in the application of health economic methods to the paediatric population. In 2007 Dr. Ungar started TASK (Technology Assessment at Sick Kids), a research unit focusing on technology assessment of pediatric health interventions (see: In collaboration with clinician scientists, Dr. Ungar & TASK have completed studies evaluating genomic testing technologies across a broad range of clinical areas. Dr. Ungar and her crew also maintain the PEDE database, a popular on line HTA tool that allows users to search for pediatric economic evaluations published on any topic and for utility weights for pediatric health states ( In 2010, Dr. Ungar’s book, Economic Evaluation in Child Health, was published by Oxford University Press.