Isaiah Luc

Mr Isaiah Luc

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

Health Economist

School of Public Health

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Isaiah Luc is a health economist at Adelaide Health Technology Assessment, and has a strong background in epidemiology, biostatistics, and health informatics. He primarily engages in contracted research and consultancy for government agencies, producing economic evaluations and critical analyses of new health technologies such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices, ensuring their clinical advantages are worth the proposed price. His assessments are utilised by decision-making bodies including the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and the Medical Services Advisory Committee who recommend government funding of technologies under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Medicare Benefits Schedule. He also serves on a National Health and Medical Research Council grant assessment committee, where he evaluates Medical Research Future Fund grant applications concerning high-cost gene treatments and digital health interventions.

Isaiah holds undergraduate degrees in Arts and medical sciences, a Master of Public Health and is a Certified Health Informatician by the Australasian Institute of Digital Health. He is currently pursing a PhD in Medicine where he aims to develop an efficient and innovative framework for evaluating new pharmaceuticals used in a number of health conditions.

His area of specialisation includes epidemiological modelling, biostatistics, health informatics and conducting cost-effectiveness and budget impact analyses of health interventions. He is available to supervise undergraduate and Honours research projects.

There has been a significant increase in the development of drugs that can be used in multiple conditions. However, there are no evaluation frameworks to assess the safety, clinical efficacy and value for money of multi-use drugs for government funding and hence assessments for reimbursements are done on per use or per indication basis. This is inefficient and resource intensive, leading to significant delays in patient access for new and innovative medicines. My PhD project aims to develop a methodological framework for evaluating multi-use drugs and explore different funding mechanisms to ensure they are available to patients in a timely manner. As medicines rarely have the same level of effectiveness across different diseases and conditions, ensuring the medicine with its clinical benefits is worth the proposed price in all uses is a key focus of the project. 

Available Research Projects

What is the overlap between the Federal and State government in consideration of medicines for funding decisions? What bearing do two factors have on funding decisions – patient engagement and high unmet medical need?”

Project Description:

Although the federal government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS) provides subsidised medicines for all Australians, many drugs have not been considered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) for reimbursement. There are many reasons for this: the long-term clinical benefit of the drug may be uncertain, the drug may be too costly for its clinical benefit, or if the target patient population is small, pharmaceutical companies may not even bother lodging an application for reimbursement. Even if a medicine is reimbursed by the PBS, it is usually restricted to a very narrow patient population (known as an indication) where the PBAC can be certain the medicine represents good value for money. In these cases, decision makers in state health departments and hospitals, such as the South Australian Medicines Evaluation Panel (SAMEP), must decide whether they will fund medicines for uses outside the PBS indication.

While the safety, clinical benefit, cost-effectiveness and budget impact of a medicine is typically what is assessed for reimbursement, recently decision-making bodies have considered other factors, namely patient engagement and high unmet clinical need, when determining their final decision. We are interested in the impact of these two factors on the final decision (to recommend for reimbursement or not). This will help decision making bodies with the reimbursement of medicines where the level of conventional benefit (i.e. safety, clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness) is uncertain.

Reviewing policy documents, this research project involves:

  • Reviewing drug indication pairs that were considered by SAMEP and subsequently the PBAC.
  • Identifying funding approval conditions or restrictions placed on drug-indication pairs by SAMEP or PBAC. 
  • Reviewing patient or patient group engagement to the decision-making bodies for each drug-indication pair.
  • Determining how often high unmet clinical need (i.e. no other treatment options) informed funding decisions.

For details on additional projects view the following booklet: School of Public Health Student Projects. Please email to discuss availability. 

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2022 - ongoing Health Economist University of Adelaide
    2021 - 2022 Senior Public Health Officer SA Health
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2022 Award Academic Dux University of Adelaide Australia -
    2020 Award Chancellor's Letter of Commendation Flinders University Australia -
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    Chinese (Cantonese) Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
    Chinese (Mandarin) Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2023 - 2027 The University of Adelaide Australia PhD in Medicine
    2021 - 2022 University of Adelaide Australia Master of Public Health
    2017 - 2020 Flinders University Australia Bachelor of Medical Science
    2017 - 2020 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Arts (Chinese Studies)
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2022 Certified Health Informatician Australasia Australasian Institute of Digital Health Australia
  • Research Interests

  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2023 Luc, I., Dadich, A., & Laurence, C. (2023). Estimating the future need for palliative care in Australia: implications for the current workforce. Poster session presented at the meeting of 2023 Oceanic Palliative Care Conference.

Isaiah teaches in the Medical Studies courses offered in the Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine Program program. He is also available to supervise undergraduate and Honours research projects. Please email to discuss. 

  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2023 - ongoing Member Examination Development Advisory Committee Australasia Institute of Digital Health Australia
    2023 - ongoing Member Grant Assessment Committee, Medical Future Fund National Health and Medical Research Council Australia
  • Position: Health Economist
  • Phone: 83130343
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: 44-60 Rundle Mall - Rundle Mall Plaza, floor Level Four
  • Org Unit: Adelaide Health Technology Assessment

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