Essential medicines selection

Evidence, Money & Drug Selection: a short course in pharmacoeconomics

“Evidence, Money and Drug Selection” is a short course in pharmacoeconomics, the science of applying techniques of economic evaluation to pharmaceuticals. It has been developed by the University of Newcastle, Australia, in collaboration with the University of Sydney, Australia, the University of Birmingham, UK, Tartu University, Estonia, and WHO. The 10-day programme will provide participants with basic skills in the disciplines that comprise pharmacoeconomics, which can be applied in a variety of different settings. These disciplines include epidemiology, assessment of clinical trials, biostatistics and health economics. In a 10-day programme, it is impossible to cover all of these aspects in detail. However, the programme aims to provide participants who have some background knowledge with additional skills that can be further developed and applied in settings that require rational approaches to selection and reimbursement of medicines. The programme is structured around the following modules:

  • Comparing treatments
  • Costs
  • Critical appraisal of economic evaluations
  • Health-related quality of life
  • In at the deep end
  • Interpreting data from individual trials
  • Introduction to decision-making
  • Managing pharmaceutical prices
  • Medicines selection exercise
  • Modelling -- beyond clinical trials
  • More models...
  • More than one trial

The educational strategy used on the course is problem-based, small group learning. Participants are divided into small groups of 5 to 7, with each group working together throughout the course. Where resources and staffing permit, each group has a facilitator who has some background in one of the relevant disciplines, or who has attended the course previously, or who has experience and skills in problem-based learning. Problem-based learning means that the groups are presented with problems that they use their joint expertise to try to solve. The role of the facilitator is not to provide answers, but to encourage the groups to use their knowledge and experience to come up with an agreed approach to the problem scenarios that are presented. The modules are based on clinical topics that are relevant to many countries. However, the clinical content has been adapted to suit various settings, so for some modules several different options are available.

This course has already been performed in several countries to develop their pharmaceutical sector and insurance system. National professionals involved in this process may contact us at if they wish to consider running a course adapted to their own country.


Policy, Access and Use (PAU)

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