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Franco Sassi

2000-01 Harkness Fellow Lecturer in Health Policy Department of Social Policy and Administration London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Harkness Project Title: Variations in the Uptake of Preventive Health Services and their Impact on Health Differentials by Race/ Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Condition

Mentor: Harold S. Luft, Ph.D.

Placement: University of California, San Francisco

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Franco Sassi, a 2000-01 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy, is a lecturer in Health Policy in the Department of Social Policy and Administration at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He has been course director for the Masters of Science in Health Policy, Planning and Financing, run jointly by LSE and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine since 1995. In 1994, Sassi was a visiting fellow at Duke University's Center for Health Policy Research and Education participating in the Stroke Prevention PORT project. He also held visiting positions at the University of California, Berkeley, at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, and, during his Harkness Fellowship, at the University of California, San Francisco and at Harvard University. Sassi has served as a temporary advisor to the European office of the World Health Organization on a range of issues including cost-effectiveness of health care services, reshaping health systems towards health outcomes, and health care quality management. Sassi's research interests focus on the economic analysis of health services, including the evaluation of diagnostic and screening interventions, multi-attribute utility assessment techniques for measuring health outcomes, measures of equity in economic analysis, and inequalities in health and access to health care. He also served on the research team that conducted an analysis of health interventions in the 15 European Union Member States. Sassi's early career was spent as a journalist, publishing over 50 articles on economics and management issues. He is also editor of the Cochrane Collaboration Health Economics Methods Group Newsletter. An economist, Sassi received his Ph.D. from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Project: The aim of Sassi’s study was to assess and compare patterns over time of breast and cervical cancer screening and stage at diagnosis. The analysis examined the relationship between these trends and a number of possible predictors, including age, race/ethnicity, income, education, and insurance status.  The study used data collected as part of large population surveys and registries, including the Commonwealth Fund Survey of Women’s Health, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and cancer registries in eight states.


Career Activity Since Fellowship:

  •  Senior Health Economist, Health Division, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)


Current Position: Co-Director, Project on the Economics of Prevention, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (Updated 1/2014)

E-Mail: [email protected]

Selected Publications

Devaux M, Sassi F. Social inequalities in obesity and overweight in 11 OECD countries. Eur J Public Health. 2013 Jun;23(3):464-9.

Damiani G, Federico B, Bianchi CB, Ronconi A, Basso D, Fiorenza S, Sassi F. Socio-economic status and prevention of cardiovascular disease in Italy: evidence from a national health survey. Eur J Public Health. 2011 Oct;21(5):591-6.

Lejeune C, Sassi F, Ellis L, Godward S, Mak V, Day M, Rachet B. Socio-economic disparities in access to treatment and their impact on colorectal cancer survival. Int J Epidemiol. 2010 Jun;39(3):710-7.

Naldi L, Sassi F. Evaluation of patient education. Cancer Treat Res. 2009;146:417-23.

Sassi F, McKee M. Do clinicians always maximize patient outcomes? A conjoint analysis of preferences for carotid artery testing. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2008 Apr;13(2):61-6.

* Sassi F, Luft HS, Guadagnoli E. “Reducing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Female Breast Cancer: Screening Rates and Stage at Diagnosis,” Am J Public Health 2007; 96(12): 2165-72.

F Sassi, Calculating QALYs, comparing QALY and DALY calculations. Health Policy Plan. 2006 Sep;21(5):402-8.

N Simpson, R Anderson, F Sassi, A Pitman, P Lewis, K Tu, H Lannin, The cost-effectiveness of neonatal screening for cystic fibrosis: an analysis of alternative scenarios using a decision model. Cost Eff Resour Alloc. 2005 Aug 9;3-8.

F Sassi, D McDaid, W Ricciardi, Conjoint analysis of preferences for cardiac risk assessment in primary care. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2005 Spring;21(2):211-218.

Sassi F, Carrier J, and Weinberg J. “Affirmative Action: The Lessons for Health Care,” British Medical Journal 2004; 328:1213 - 1214;

F Sassi, J Weinberg, J Carrier, Spotlight on affirmative action: the lessons for health care. British Medical Journal.2004;328.

McDaid D, Cookson R, Maynard A, Sassi F. “Evaluating Health Interventions in the 21st Century: Old and New Challenges.” Health Policy 2003; 63(2):117-20.

Sassi F. “Setting Priorities for the Evaluation of Health Interventions: When Theory Does Not Meet Practice.” Health Policy 2003; 63(2):141-54.

F Sassi, A prescription for injustice: a case against the use of normative approaches to address equity vs. efficiency tradeoffs in healthcare. In: Oliver A (Ed.) Health Care Priority Setting. Implications for Health Inequalities. London, The Nuffield Trust, 2003.

D McDaid, R Cookson, A Maynard, F Sassi (Eds). The scientific and technical evaluation of health interventions in the EU. Health Policy, special issue, 2003;63(2).

D McDaid, R Cookson, A Maynard, F Sassi, Evaluating health interventions in the 21st century: old and new challenges. Health Policy 2003;63(2):117-20.

Sassi F. Setting priorities for the evaluation of health interventions: when theory does not meet practice. Health Policy 2003;63(2):141-54.

N Nante, G Ricciardi, O Al Farraj, S Morgagni, R Siliquini, F Moirana,G Messina, F Sassi,  Hospital patient migration: analysis using a utility index. In: Kirch W (Ed.). Public health in Europe. Berlin, Springer, 2003.

S J Cunningham, M Sculpher, F Sassi, A Manca, A cost-utility analysis of patients undergoing orthognathic treatment for the management of dentofacial disharmony. British Journal of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery 2003;41(1):32-5.

F Sassi, L Archard, D McDaid. Searching literature databases for health care economic evaluations: how systematic can we afford to be? Medical Care 2002;40(5):387-94.

A Wimo, E von Strauss, G Nordberg, F Sassi, L Johansson.Time spent on informal and formal care giving for persons with dementia in Sweden. Health Policy 2002;61(3):255-68.