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Dr Kim Sweeny
Principal Research Fellow
Phone number:
(03) 9919 1349
Email address:
kim.sweeny@vu.edu.au

Qualifications
BEcon (Hons), Sydney; PhD (Econ) Victoria Univ.

Professional experience
Dr. Kim Sweeny is Principal Research Fellow at VISES, specialising in the strategic analysis, assessment and development of new technology and innovation. Mr Sweeny is heavily involved in the Institute’s Pharmaceutical Industry Project, being responsible in particular for the analysis of Australian and international pharmaceutical markets. He has produced reports on, among other topics, the operations of the PBS and pricing and usage outcomes, comparisons of Australian and international pharmaceutical usage and pricing, and the Australian pharmaceutical supply chain. He has presented his findings at various national and international fora. In addition he has undertaken consultancy studies of various aspects of the PBS for pharmaceutical industry clients. He was a lead author on the report on Small Scale Technologies for the Victorian Government and the report on Economic Benefits of the Research Program of the Proposed CRC for Interconnected Knowledge Communities (CRCIKC).

From 1993-2000 Dr. Sweeny was General Manager, Service Industries of the Strategic Industry Research Foundation Ltd (SIRF), a company established by the Victoria Government to develop and manage technology related products. He won, managed and delivered numerous consultancy projects including 3 benchmarking studies, covering biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical equipment and clinical trials, for Invest Australia (an arm of the Australian Government) in 1995, 1997, and 2000.

In 1995 and 2000 he undertook studies for Invest Australia on criteria used by multinational companies in deciding where to locate new R&D investments. Around 30 multinational companies were interviewed and asked to rank the importance of 22 selection criteria, such as costs, availability of skilled personnel, scientific research base, proximity to markets/customers, quality of life, cost of living, taxation regimes, economic and political stability etc.

In 1996 he carried out a study of the benefits of pharmaceutical company R&D for the Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association. This study demonstrated substantial returns from pharmaceutical R&D and included interviews with 25 pharmaceutical companies.

While at SIRF he was instrumental in establishing the Cooperative Research Centre for Microtechnology – a new technology alliance of research organisations, companies and State and Commonwealth Governments undertaking research in micro and nanotechnologies. Industries covered by the CRC include defence, communications, automotive, biotechnology and sport. In 2001 he carried out an assessment of the business case for a new microelectronics design business for the CRC.

Recent publications

Journal articles

Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K., Welsh, A., Kumnick, M., Reeve, M. and Dayal, P. 2020, Increasing Social and Economic Benefits Globally: Rates of Return on Health Investments, USCC and Victoria University, Washington DC. sSweeny, K., Friedman, H.S., Sheehan, P., Fridman, M. and Shi, H. 2019, ‘A health-system based investment case for adolescent health’, Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. S8-S15. At

Symons, J., Howard, E., Sweeny, K., Kumnick, M. and Sheehan, P. 2019, ‘Reduced road traffic injuries for young people: A preliminary investment analysis’, Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. S34-S43.

Nguyen Trang, Sweeny, K., Thach Tran, Luchters, S., Hipgrave, D.B., Hanieh, S. Tuan Tran, Ha Tran, Biggs, B.A. and Fisher, J. 2019, 'Protocol for an economic evaluation alongside a cluster randomised controlled trial: Cost-effectiveness of Learning Clubs, a multicomponent intervention to improve women’s health and infant’s health and development in Vietnam', BMJ Open vol. 9, 031721. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031721.

Bertram, M.Y., Sweeny, K., Lauer, J.A., Chisholm, D., Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B., Upreti, S.R., Dixit, L.P., George, K. and Deane, S. 2018, ‘Investing in non-communicable diseases: An estimation of the return on investment for prevention and treatment services’, The Lancet, vol. 391, no. 10134, pp. 2071–2078.

George C. Patton, G.C., Craig A. Olsson, C.A., Skirbekk, V., Saffery, R., Wlodek, M.E., Azzopardi, P. S., Stonawski, M., Rasmussen, B., Spry, E., Francis, K., Bhutta, Z.A., Kassebaum, N.J., Mokdad, A.H., Murray, C.J.L., Prentice, A.M., Reavley, N., Sheehan, P., Sweeny, K., Viner, R.M., Sawyer, S.M., 2018, ‘Adolescence and the next generation’, Nature, vol. 554, no. 7693, pp.458–466.

Zhang, Y., Liu, F., Pu, L., Qin, J., & Sweeny, K. 2018, ‘Effectiveness prediction of community-based hypertension management in China: An analysis based on risk prediction models’, Chinese General Practice, vol. 21, no. 17, pp. 2082-2087.

Sheehan, P., Sweeny, K., Rasmussen, B., Wils, A., Friedman, H.S., Mahon, J., Patton, G.C., Sawyer, S.M., Howard, E., Symons, J., Stenberg, K., Chalasani, S., Maharaj, N., Reavley, N., Shi, H., Fridman, M., Welsh, A., Nsofor, E. and Laski, L. 2017, ‘Building the foundations for sustainable development: A case for global investment in the capabilities of adolescents’, The Lancet, vol. 390, no. 10104, pp. 1792-1806.

Chisholm, D., Sweeny, K., Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B., Smit, F., Cuijpers, P. and Saxena, S. 2016, ‘Scaling-up treatment of depression and anxiety: A global return on investment analysis’, Lancet Psychiatry, vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 415–424.

Ten Hoppe-Bender, P., Stenberg, K. and Sweeny, K. 2016, ‘Reductions in stillbirths: More than a triple return on investment’, The Lancet, vol. 387, no. 10018, pp. e14–e16.

Stenberg, K., Axelson, H., Sheehan, P., Anderson, I., Gülmezoglu, A.M., Temmerman, M., Mason, E., Friedman, H.S., Bhutta, Z.A., Lawn, J.E., Sweeny, K., Tulloch, J., Hansen, P., Chopra, M., Gupta, A., Vogel, J.P., Ostergren, M., Rasmussen, B., Levin, C., Boyle, C., Kuruvilla, S., Koblinsky, M., Walker, N., de Francisco, A., Novcic, N., Presern, C., Jamison, D. and Bustreo, F. on behalf of the Study Group for the Global Investment Framework for Women’s Children’s Health 2014, ‘Advancing social and economic development by investing in women's and children's health: A new global investment framework’, The Lancet, vol. 383, no. 9925, pp. 1333-1354.

Sweeny, K. 2009, ‘The impact of copayments and safety nets on PBS expenditure’, Australian Health Review, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 215-230.

Book chapters

Stenberg, K., Sheehan, P., Axelson, H. and Sweeny, K. 2016, ‘Returns on investment in the continuum of care for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health’, Chapter 15, Volume 2, , in R. Black, M. Temmerman, R. Laxminarayan and N. Walker (eds), Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries (DCP3), 3rd edn, Volume 2, The Continuum of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, chap. 15, World Bank, Washington DC.

Sweeny, K. 2010, ‘Smart technology for healthy longevity: Economic analysis’, Report prepared for ATSE, in G. Tegart, Smart Technology for Health Longevity, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Melbourne, pp. 65-78.

Sweeny, K. 2006, ‘Australian pharmaceutical pricing in a global context: Trends and issues’, in B. Grewal and M. Kumnick (eds), Engaging the New World: Responses to the Knowledge Economy, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.

Research reports

Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K., Welsh, A., Kumnick, M., Reeve, M. and Dayal, P. 2020, Increasing Social and Economic Benerits Globally: Rates of Return on Health Investments, US Chamber of Commerce, Washington DC and VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Rasmussen, B., Sheehan, P., Sweeny, K., Symons, J. and Maharah, N. 2019, Adolescent Investment Case Burundi: Estimating the Impacts of Social Sector Investments for Adolescents, VISES Report to UNICEF Burundi, Bujumbura.

Sweeny, K. and Rasmussen, B. 2019, Evaluation of the WorkWell Program: Initial Report, Report for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Jones, R., Young, C., Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B., Fridman, M., Sweeny, K. 2018, Climate Change and Social Determinants of Health and Wellbeing Scoping Study, Final Report to Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, VISES, Melbourne.

Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K., Maharaj, N. and Welsh, A. 2018, Our Health Our Wealth: The Impact of Ill Health on Retirement Savings in Australia, Report to The McKell Institute, VISES, Melbourne, August.

Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B. and Sweeny, K. 2015, Building the Foundations of Sustainable Development: A Global Investment Case for Investing in the Capabilities of Adolescents, Report for the UNFPA Project UNFPAUSA/14/037 Investment in Improving Health, Education and other Outcomes for Adolescents, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, December.

Sweeny, K., Fridman, M. and Rasmussen, B. 2017, Estimating the Value and Impact of Nectar Virtual Laboratories, Report to National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (Nectar), VISES, Melbourne, September, 56 pp.

Sweeny, K. and Shi, H. 2016, The Economic Cost of Serious Mental Illness and Comorbidities in Australia and New Zealand, Report prepared for The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, March. Also at RANZCP.

Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K. and Sheehan, P. 2016, Health and the Economy: The Impact of Wellness on Workforce Productivity in Global Markets, Report to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Initiative on Health and Economy, Washington, DC, April. Also at USCC.

Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K. and Sheehan, P. 2016, Economic Costs of Absenteeism, Presenteeism and Early Retirement Due to Ill Health: A Focus on Indonesia, Report to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Initiative on Health and Economy, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, September.


Sweeny, K. 2016, Review of Pharmaceutical Pricing Models, Report to Merck Serono, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, August.

Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K. and Sheehan, P. 2015, Cost of Early Retirement Due to Ill Health, Report to the APEC Business Advisory Council and US Chamber of Commerce, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, July.

Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K. and Sheehan, P. 2015, Cost of Early Retirement Due to Ill Health: Phase II Countries, Report to the APEC Business Advisory Council and US Chamber of Commerce, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, October.

Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K. and Sheehan, P. 2015, Economic Costs of Absenteeism, Presenteeism and Early Retirement Due to Ill Health: A Focus on Brazil, Report to the Brazil-U.S. Business Council, the US Chamber of Commerce and the APEC Business Advisory Council, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, July.

Sweeny, K., Rasmussen, B. and Sheehan, P. 2015, The Impact of Health on Worker Attendance and Productivity in Twelve Countries, Report to the APEC Business Advisory Council and US Chamber of Commerce, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, October, 36 pp.

Sweeny, K. 2015, The Impact of Simplified Price Disclosure on the PBS and Changes to Mandatory Price Cut Levels, Report to Medicines Australia, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, April.

Sweeny, K. 2015, The Investment Case for Interventions to Improve Adolescent Health, Supporting Paper 1, UNFPA Project UNFPAUSA/14/037 Investment in Improving Health, Education and other Outcomes for Adolescents, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, December.

Sweeny, K. and Fridman, M. 2015, The Investment Case for a Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine Program, Supporting Paper 2, UNFPA Project UNFPAUSA/14/037 Investment in Improving Health, Education and other Outcomes for Adolescents, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, November, 14 pp.

Howard, E., Symons, J., Sheehan, P. and Sweeny, K. 2015, Modelling the Impact of Interventions to Reduce Road Injuries, Adolescents 10-19 Years, Countdown Countries, Supporting Paper 7, UNFPA Project UNFPAUSA/14/037 Investment in Improving Health, Education and other Outcomes for Adolescents, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, December.

Sweeny, K. and Shi, H. 2015, Serious Mental Illness and Comorbidities in Australia and New Zealand, Report to Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and the Mitchell Institute, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, May.

Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B. and Sweeny, K. 2014, The Impact of Health on Worker Attendance and Productivity in the APEC Region, Final Report to the APEC Business Advisory Council, VISES, Melbourne, July, 45 pp.

Sweeny, K. 2014, Pharmacogenomic Proof of Concept Study: Economic Analysis, Report to GenesFX/Melbourne Health, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2014, The Influence of Childhood Circumstances on Adult Health, Report to Mitchell Institute, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2013, The Impact of Further PBS Reforms, Final Report to Medicines Australia, Melbourne, May.

Sweeny, K. 2013, The Impact of Further PBS Reforms: Further Modelling with Different Assumptions about Biological Medicines, Report to Medicines Australia, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne, May, 13 pp.

Sweeny, K. 2013, Detailed Modelling of Savings for the Government from Policy Changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Report to Willard Consulting, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne, October, 11 pp.

Sweeny, K. 2013, Compilation of Evidence from the Literature on Cardiovascular and Diabetes Risk Factors and Treatments, China Hypertension and Diabetes Project, Draft Report to China National Health Development Research Center, Beijing, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne, November.

Stenberg, K., Axelson, H., Sheehan, P., Anderson, I., Gülmezoglu, A.M., Temmerman, M., Mason, E., Friedman, H.S., Bhutta, Z.A., Lawn, J.E., Sweeny, K., Tulloch, J., Hansen, P., Chopra, M., Gupta, A., Vogel, J.P., Ostergren, M., Rasmussen, B., Levin, C., Boyle, C., Kuruvilla, S., Koblinsky, M., Walker, N., de Francisco, A., Novcic, N., Presern, C., Jamison, D. and Bustreo, F. 2013, The Economic Benefits of Investing in Women’s and Children’s Health, PMNCH Knowledge Summary 24, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, World Health Organization, Geneva,

Rasmussen, B., English, A., Houghton, J., Lang, J., Maharaj, N., Sweeny, K. and Rasmussen, A. 2012, Chinese Export Opportunities for Victorian Companies, Report to Department of Business Innovation and Innovation (Victoria), Melbourne, February.

Sheehan, P., Sweeny, K., Rasmussen, B. and World Health Organization (WHO) 2012, Investing in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health: Analysis of the Costs, Benefits and Returns, Report on Study Prepared for the LSIF APEC High-Level Meeting on Health and the Economy, St Petersburg, 27 June 2012.

Sweeny, K. 2011, The Impact of PBS Reforms on PBS Expenditure and Savings: Revised Estimates 2005-06 To 2017-18, Report To Pfizer Australia, January.

Sweeny, K., English, A., Zhuang, X, and Jiang, K., 2011, Technology and Policy Roadmap for Electric Vehicles in China, Report to Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, CSES, Melbourne, October.

English, A., Sweeny, K., Zhuang, X., Jiang, K. and Sheehan, P. 2011, Policy and Technology Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy: Electric Vehicles and Energy Efficient Air Conditioners in China, Summary Report to Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, CSES, Melbourne, October.

Sheehan, P. and Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K., Lichtenberg, F. and Sheehan, P. 2011, Strains In the Global Biopharmaceutical Innovation System: An International Research Project, Report for Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR), CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2010, Technology and Policy Roadmap for Electric Vehicles in China, Report prepared for Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, Melbourne, July.

Sheehan, P., English, A., Grewal, B., Sweeny, K., Nielson, J., Sun, F. and Cheng, E. 2010, The Transition to a Low Carbon Economy: Implementation Issues and Constraints within China's Changing Economic Structure, Final Report to Department of Climate Change (Canberra), June, CSES, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. and English, A. 2010, Identifying Policies and Implementation Strategies for Improving Energy Efficiency: Case Study 1: High Fuel Efficiency Motor Vehicles, Report to Department of Climate Change, June.

Sheehan, P., English, A., Grewal, B., Sweeny, K. and Jolly, R. 2010, More Sustainable Energy Use in China: Economic Structure and the Application of New Technologies, Final Report to Department of Climate Change, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. and Grubert, N. 2010, Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement in Australia, Decision Resources, Burlington, October.

Sweeny, K. and Rasmussen B. 2010, CDM-Net Project Final Report, Section 7, Precedence Healthcare, Melbourne, January.

Sweeny, K. 2010, Smart Technology for Healthy Longevity: Economic Analysis, Report prepared for Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Melbourne, January, in G. Tegart (ed.), Smart Technology for Health Longevity, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Melbourne, pp. 65-78.

Sweeny, K. and Rasmussen B. 2010, CDM-Net Project Final Report, Section 7, Precedence Healthcare, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K. and Maharaj, N. 2009, Health Cluster, Making VU Cluster Coordination Committee Input Report, CSES, April.

Sweeny, K. and Sheehan, P. 2009, The Impact of PBS Reforms on PBS Expenditure and Savings: Actual and Projected from 2008-09 to 2017-18, Report to Medicines Australia, Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. and Rasmussen, B. 2009, An Economic Analysis of Expected Benefits from the CRC Bid’s Research Program, CSES, January.

Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K., Grewal, B., Ahmed, A. and Maharaj, N. 2008, Investing in the Future: An Assessment of the Returns to Investment in Health Innovation, Framework Paper prepared for the Life Science and Innovation Forum (LSIF) VI, Lima, Peru, 14-15 August.


Sheehan, P. and Sweeny, K. 2007, The Value of Medicines in Australia, Report to Medicines Australia, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B. and Sweeny, K. 2007, ‘Developing an Integrated Approach to Emerging Health Challenges’, Framework Paper prepared for the APEC Life Science Innovation Forum V, Adelaide, 19-20 April.

Sheehan, P., Houghton, J., Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K. and Tegart, G. 2006, Consistent National Policies for Converging Technologies: Some Preliminary Conclusions, Policy Report of the CSES Project General Purpose Technologies, Complementarities and the Convergence of Industries, ARC Linkage Grant Project LP0349387, November, Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, Melbourne, 31 pp.

Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B. and Sweeny, K. 2006, Sustainable Health Care Systems to Support Innovation, Framework Paper prepared for the Fourth Annual APEC Life Science Innovation Forum (LISF), Hoi An, Vietnam, 6-7 September.

Sweeny, K. 2006, Modelling the Impact of Proposed PBS Policy Changes, report to Medicines Australia, April, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2006, A Comparison of the PBS Prices of Popular Patent-Protected and Off-Patent Medicines with Prices in the United Kingdom, Report to Pfizer Australia, March, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2006, The Market for Antidepressants in Australia, Report to Pfizer Australia, February, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2006, New Drugs, Generics and Pricing Options: An Analytical Framework for the Assessment of Alternative Policies Phase One: New Drugs for the PBS, Report to Pfizer Australia, February, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2005, Policies for Pricing Innovative and Off-Patent Medicines: A Comparison of Current Government Policy with a Two Market Policy, Report to Medicines Australia, December, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2005, Options for Restructuring the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Phase Two: Drug Prices in Australia: A Comparative Review and Analysis of Changes, Report to Medicines Australia, August, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2005, Options for Restructuring the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Phase One: The Australian Pharmaceutical Market in Context, Report to Medicines Australia, August, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2005, New Listing and Pricing Arrangements for Generic Medicines: An Assessment, Report to Pfizer Australia, July, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. and Sheehan, P. 2005, Proposed New Listing and Pricing Arrangements for Generic Medicines: An Assessment, Report to Medicines Australia, March, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2005, Generic Drugs, Savings and Medicine Policy Phase Two: New Drugs, Future PBS Costs and Alternative Approached to Pricing Policy for New Drugs, Report to Medicines Australia, January, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2005, Generic Drugs, Savings and Medicine Policy Phase One: Historical Analysis of Generic Markets and Assessment of the Future Impact of Generics - Impact of Price Reductions Following Patent Expiry, Report to Medicines Australia, January, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2004, Savings in the Cost of the PBS from Reducing the Price of Off-Patent Drugs, Report to Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. and Houghton, J. 2004, The Economic Benefits of the Research Program of the Proposed CRCIKC, Report to CRC for Enterprise Distributed Systems Technology, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2004, The Health Technologies Institute: An Initial Economic and Financial Assessment, Report to Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sweeny, K. 2003, The Value of Medicines and Australian Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy, A Case Study of AIIRAs, Report to Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Sheehan, P., Sweeny, K., Rasmussen, B., Tegart, G. and Nicolau, D. 2003, Small Scale Technologies: Directions for Victoria, Report to the Victorian Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, CSES, Victoria University, Melbourne, September.