Professor Tracy Merlin

Professor Tracy Merlin
 Position Interim Head, Sch. Public Hlth; Director AHTA
 Org Unit Adelaide Health Technology Assessment
 Telephone +61 8 8313 3575
 Location Floor/Room WS9085.01 ,  Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    Current roles:

    Managing Director, Adelaide Health Technology Assessment (AHTA,, School of Public Health

    Academic Lead, Health Economics and Policy Unit, School of Public Health.


    Professor Tracy Merlin co-founded AHTA in 2001. This research unit of approximately 40 staff has undertaken over $45 million in applied/contract research since its inception, primarily for the Australian Government Department of Health, to evaluate health services, medicines and other interventions to inform health policy and public funding decisions.This includes assessing the safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of medical services that are being considered for Medicare funding; and appraisal of pharmaceuticals to determine whether they warrant funding under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

    In 2015, the staff from the Data Management and Analysis Centre (DMAC) were integrated into AHTA. DMAC staff have provided multi-disciplinary support for clients undertaking research and data intensive projects in the health field and have extensive experience assisting research clients, government departments and non-government agencies. These staff brought a wealth of knowledge with regard to registry and trial data management and analysis, which nicely complements the evidence-based policy and modelling activities undertaken by AHTA. 

    As a consequence, Tracy leads a large and experienced team of researchers, skilled statisticians, IT specialists, systems analysts, programmers and data managers, undertaking multi-million dollar applied research and evaluation activities on behalf of government and non-government agencies.

    Tracy's academic activities have included developing approaches, that were implemented at the national level, for horizon scanning for new health interventions and disinvesting from established medical services. She developed internationally-accepted classifications for health technology assessment products, as well as an evidence hierarchy and evidence grading method used to produce NHMRC-endorsed evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. She pioneered the first methodological approach internationally for evaluating personalised medicines, particularly pharmacogenetic treatments, for a public funding decision.

    Apart from the methodological work, Tracy has written well over 150 systematic literature reviews, clinical practice guidelines and health technology assessment reports and has also published in the academic peer reviewed literature.

    Tracy is Vice Chair of the Board of the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA), she co-chaired the INAHTA Quality Assurance Group for two years, and is the current Chair of the English Editorial Board of the international  HTA Glossary. She is also a current serving Director on the Board of Evidence Synthesis International. She was a member of the Scientific and Professional Programs Committee of Health Technology Assessment international (HTAi) for five years and is still active on various HTAi committees. She has served on several international scientific program committees for health technology assessment and guidelines conferences. She is also active locally as a current member of the South Australian Medicines Evaluation Panel and is a former longstanding member of the SA Health Policy Advisory Committee.

    She consults on the conduct of health technology assessments, systematic literature reviews and the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. She also coordinates a University short course, and another online course, on Health Technology Assessment which forms part of two Masters programs.

    Tracy has conducted primary research in the areas of health education, aboriginal health, international health, medical education and palliative care.

    Tracy has a PhD in Medicine, a Masters Degree in Public Health (specialising in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics), an Honours degree in Psychology and postgraduate qualifications in project management and online higher education. Her doctoral studies concerned the methods for evaluating diagnostic tests and personalised medicines to inform public funding decisions.

  • Qualifications

    Grad Cert Online Learning (Higher Ed)

    Adv Dipl Project Management

    Master of Public Health, University of Adelaide (epidemiology/biostatistics stream)

    Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Psychology), University of Adelaide

    PhD in Medicine, University of Adelaide

  • Research Interests

    Evidence-based health care

    Evidence-based health policy

    Health technology assessment (HTA), systematic reviews and meta-analysis

    Diagnostic tests

    Personalised medicine

    Developing evidence-based clinical practice guidelines

    Disinvestment methodology and processes

  • Media Expertise

    CategoriesMedicine & Medical Research
    ExpertiseEvidence-based health care; Evidence-based health policy; Health technology assessment (HTA); systematic literature reviews; meta-analysis; Diagnostic tests; Personalised medicine; Developing evidence-based clinical practice guidelines; Disinvestment methodology and processes
    NotesCo-founded Adelaide Health Technology Assessment (AHTA) in 2001. Member, Scientific & Professional Programs Committee, Health Technology Assessment international (HTAi). Co-Chair, Quality Assurance Working Group, International Network of Agencies for HTA (INAHTA). Member, South Australian Medicines Evaluation Panel (SAMEP). Member, South Australian Health Technology Advisory Group (SA-HTAG).

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Entry last updated: Sunday, 25 Oct 2020

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