Drew Carter

Dr Drew Carter

Grant-Funded Researcher (B)

School of Public Health

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

I am a moral philosopher and health policy researcher who works mostly at the interface of ethics and health economics. I am interested in discussions about the nature of goodness, in how those discussions are best pursued, and in letting those discussions improve the thinking that informs decisions made by health care practitioners and policy makers, especially on questions of resource allocation.

My research mainly focusses on how health-related resources ought to be allocated. I am particularly interested in identifying what is important besides gaining the maximum possible health for a population. I have examined this in relation to assisted reproductive technologies (like in vitro fertilisation), intensive care triage and national funding decision making for pharmaceuticals and medical services. I am also interested in how qualitative research and deliberative methods can best serve inquiry into health-related ethical matters. Philosophically, I work to extend and apply insights made by the philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein, Iris Murdoch, Raimond Gaita, and Christopher Cordner. This includes avoiding over-simplification, teasing out how our words, responses and practices can depend on one another for their meaning, and foregrounding love and people's inextricable importance.

Since 2009, I have been a Research Fellow in Ethics. I collaborate on research with health services researchers, health economists and social scientists, especially to inform decisions about how governments ought to allocate health care resources.

I lead an Ethics Consulting service provided by Adelaide Health Technology Assessment. I conduct paid consulting providing advice on applications to Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) and assist in the design and conduct of research studies, especially those that have pronounced ethical dimensions or use qualitative research methods.

My current research focusses on ethical resource allocation.

I am analysing the ethical principles that ought to inform intensive care unit (ICU) admission and discharge, especially when the ICU is full and additional patients require admission.  I am also working to identify the ethical principles that formal recommendations on ICU admission and discharge currently embody.

I am involved in several research projects that aim to improve the decision making of health funding bodies that use Health Technology Assessment (HTA) as an evaluation framework.  I am researching the ethics of managed-entry agreements, where governments provisionally fund new health interventions on the condition that research is undertaken to reduce uncertainty concerning the intervention's effectiveness or cost-effectiveness, for example.  I am also researching how national bodies such as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) ought to include more than conventional cost-effectiveness in their judgements of the value for money that a health intervention provides.  Other projects examine the unique challenges and opportunities faced by state-level health funding bodies and how to best involve patients and the public in health funding decision making.

I am available to supervise student research projects (including PhD, MPhil, MPH Coursework Thesis and Dissertation, Honours, and third-year projects) on the above topics, in addition to the following.  There is increasing interest within SA Health to undertake evaluation work to see if the approval and funding of a medicine or device has resulted in the outcomes expected.  I can organise and supervise evaluation projects in close collaboration with SA Health managers and clinicians.  I am also interested in developing a framework that will allow evaluation agencies to more rapidly and comprehensively assess ethical dimensions relating to new genomic health technologies.

Details of the projects that are available for students can be found in the School of Public Health Student Research Project Handbook.

2017-present. I lead an Ethics Consulting service provided by Adelaide Health Technology Assessment, as detailed here.  I conduct paid consulting on applications to Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) and assist in the design and conduct of research studies, especially those that have pronounced ethical dimensions or use qualitative research methods.

2015-2017.  Jonathan Karnon, Hossein Haji Ali Afzali, Annette Braunack-Mayer, Stephen Begg, Drew Carter.  Increasing population health by making better funding decisions: Estimation of the cost-effectiveness threshold for the Australian health system.  National Health and Medical Research Council.  Project Grant.  Grant ID 1084387.  $331,398.

Scoring 6 out of 7, this application scored in the top 5% of the 3800 Project grant applications submitted in 2014. My role in the project was to help identify and overcome challenges associated with implementing an explicit and empirically derived cost-effectiveness threshold when recommending whether the government ought to fund a new health technology. In particular, I helped to design a survey to gauge the public's understanding and priorities when it comes to the potential impacts of the government using such a threshold.

2013-2018.  CIs: Alan Pearson, Alex Brown, Annette Braunack-Mayer, Ngiare Brown, Edoardo Aromataris.  AIs: Drew Carter, Carol Davy, Zoe Jordan, Craig Lockwood, Alexa McArthur, Sandeep Moola, Zachary Munn, Suzanne Robertson-Malt, Matthew Stephenson, Jackie Street, Catalin Tufanaru, Renee Williams.  Innovation in the synthesis and translation of research evidence to inform the prevention, management and treatment of chronic disease in Indigenous populations.  National Health and Medical Research Council.  Centre of Research Excellence.  App ID 1061242.  $2,482,576.    

I was actively involved in the Centre of Research Excellence in Aboriginal Chronic Disease Knowledge Translation and Exchange (CREATE).  I was a member of its Methods Group, working to create a novel tool to assess the quality of research involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  I was also a member of the Centre's Sustainable Funding Domain, collaborating on systematic reviews concerning the value and funding of health services dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

2012-2014.  Annette Braunack-Mayer, Jackie Street, Chris Reynolds, Vivienne Moore, Megan Warin, Drew Carter, John Moss, Tracy Merlin, Elizabeth Handsley.  Steward or nanny state: Consulting the public about the use of regulations and laws to address childhood obesity.  Australian National Preventive Health Agency.  Category 1.  Preventive Health Research Grant Program 2011-12.  $288,381.

My role in the HealthyLaws project included providing ethical insights to the project's deliberative engagement with citizens and co-supervising a PhD on ethics, obesity and public health policy.

Sep-Oct 2012.  Drew Carter and Paul Sendziuk.  The morality of using acute pain as a diagnostic tool in emergency medicine, together with a critical history of acute pain measurement.  The Brocher Foundation (Switzerland).  Visiting Researchers.  Approx. $20,000.

This project involved interviewing medical practitioners on the clinical and ethical reasoning underpinning pain management in the emergency department.

I currently teach ethics and public engagement in the postgraduate courses Health Technology Assessment and Health Economics.

In the past, I have taught health ethics extensively.  From 2015 to 2018 I led all of the teaching of ethics to University of Adelaide medical students.  I have co-ordinated Public Health Ethics and Saving lives or respecting rights? An introduction to health ethics, which I developed from the ground up with Professor Annette Braunack-Mayer.  I have also tutored in philosophy extensively.

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Co-Supervisor Developing a Health Technology Assessment framework for the evaluation and reimbursement of multi-use pharmaceuticals Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Isaiah Luc
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2021 - 2024 Co-Supervisor Developing a program for children of military and emergency first responder parents with post-traumatic stress disorder Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Karen Louise May
    2019 - 2022 Co-Supervisor The Role of Computer Based Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) in Improving Antibiotic Management Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Mah Laka
    2017 - 2017 Principal Supervisor An Ethical Analysis of Obesity, Weight Stigma, and Public Health Master of Philosophy (Public Health) Master Full Time Ms Alison Harwood
    2015 - 2020 Co-Supervisor The Social and Ethical Significance of Non-Problematised Middle-Aged Drinkers Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Emma Muhlack
    2015 - 2021 Principal Supervisor The Rationale and Design of Public Involvement in Health Technology Assessment: A Systems Thinking Approach Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Edilene Lopes McInnes
    2012 - 2014 Co-Supervisor PUBLIC AND PATIENT INVOLVEMENT IN GOVERNMENT HEALTH FUNDING DECISION MAKING IN AUSTRALIA Master of Philosophy (Public Health) Master Part Time Dr Edilene Lopes McInnes
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - 2020 Principal Supervisor 3rd Year Research Placement - A Scoping Review of the Ethical Principles in ICU Admission and Discharge Guidelines Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences Other Full Time 3 students
  • Position: Grant-Funded Researcher (B)
  • Phone: 83130620
  • Email: drew.carter@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Rundle Mall Plaza, floor 4
  • Org Unit: Adelaide Health Technology Assessment

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