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Online Master in Health Economics and Pharmacoeconomics (in Spanish)

Program curriculum and final degree

Program Curriculum

The Online Master in Health Economics and Pharmacoeconomics (in Spanish) consists of a total of 60 ECTS credits. Courses 1 to 7 are each worth 6 credits; Course 8 is worth 8 credits and the Master's Term Paper is worth 10 credits.

The programme modules are detailed below:

Course 1. Economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals and medical technologies (1): basic concepts.

Course 2: Quantitative techniques applied to health service management.

Course 3: Economics and policies of pharmaceutical financing.

Course 4: Economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals and medical technologies (2): advances.

Course 5: Drug management in health systems.

Course 6: Health economics (1): Supply.

Course 7. Health economics (2): Demand.

Course 8. Modelling techniques in economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals and healthcare technologies.

Course 9. Term paper. The first 8 modules must have been passed in order to take this module.

CONTENTS

COURSE 1. Economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals and medical technologies (1): basic concepts.
Tutor: Jaume Puig Junoy
Authors: Jaume Puig Junoy and José Luis Pinto.

The general aim of this module is to guide the student in an introduction to knowledge of the basic and fundamental aspects of the main techniques and instruments used in the economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals and medical technologies and apply them to a number of case studies. This is the first of two teaching modules that pursue these objectives.

Unit 1. Methods for the economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals, medical technologies and health programmes.
1.1. The need to count.
1.2. What steps are taken in an economic evaluation?
Unit 2. Cost analysis in economic evaluation (1).
2.1. Estimating the costs of a new pharmaceutical product.
2.2. The temporary adjustment of costs.
2.3. The distinction between average cost and marginal cost.
Unit 3. Cost-utility analysis.
3.1. Estimating the benefits of treatment alternatives.
3.2. Using and calculating quality-adjusted life years (QALYs).
3.3. Designing a cost-utility analysis (CUA).
Unit 4. Cost-benefit analysis (1).
4.1. Is it useful to value the outcome in monetary terms?
4.2. First steps towards obtaining a measure of monetary value.
4.3. Valuing the outcome in terms of willingness to pay.

COURSE 2: Quantitative techniques applied to health service management.
Tutor and author: Carles Murillo i Fort

The aim of this module is to provide the basic tools for analysing the overall behaviour of variables of interest for pharmaceutical and health management. Participants learn how to interpret the results of a selection of statistical and econometric analysis techniques that can be useful in decision-making in this area.

Unit 1. Measuring the relationship between pharmaceuticals expenditure and income.
1.1. Association between drug expenditure and income.
1.2. Measurement of the degree of association between expenditure and income.
1.3. Simple regression as an instrument for evaluating the predictive ability of income.
1.4. Evaluation of the results of the analysis.
Unit 2. Factors determining the efficacy of a treatment.
2.1. Proposed method for determining a pharmaceutical product's efficacy.
2.2. Factors determining changes in the outcome of a treatment.
2.3. Determining the weight of each explanatory variable
2.4 Do the amount of drugs and personal characteristics determine the treatment's efficacy?
2.5. Statistical diagnosis of the method used.
Unit 3. Building pharmaceutical budgets and prescriber behaviour.
3.1. Building pharmaceutical budgets in primary care.
3.2. What happens when an explanatory variable is a categorical variable?
3.3. Pharmaceutical costs in primary care teams.
3.4. Prescriber characteristics and pharmaceutical expenditure.
Unit 4. Logistic regression .
4.1. Regression models with categorical or limited dependent variable.
4.2. The logit model (logistic regression).
4.3. Validation of the regression model.

COURSE 3: Economics and policies of pharmaceutical financing.
Tutor and author: Jaume Puig Junoy

The basic aim of this module is to enable the participant to analyse the justification for and effectiveness of the main policies for the regulation and funding of pharmaceuticals in a health system.

Unit 1. Pharmaceutical expenditure: interpretation and distinctive features of the market.
1.1. Interpreting pharmaceutical expenditure.
1.2. What are the causes of rises in drug prices?
1.3. The distinctive features of the pharmaceutical market.
Unit 2. Insurance and demand for pharmaceuticals .
2.1. Drug management policies.
2.2. Co-payment in health services.
2.3. The effects of co-payment on health services and pharmaceuticals.
Unit 3. Pharmaceutical price regulation .
3.1. Reasons for regulating pharmaceutical prices.
3.2. Pharmaceutical price regulation systems.
3.3. The effects of price regulation.
Unit 4. P atents and policies encouraging competition in the pharmaceutical market .
4.1. The role of patents in the pharmaceutical market.
4.2. Is competition possible in the pharmaceutical market?
4.3. Pharmaceutical reference pricing systems.

COURSE 4: Economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals and medical technologies (2): advances.
Tutor: Jaume Puig Junoy
Authors: Jaume Puig Junoy and Eulàlia Dalmau.

The general aim of this module is to familiarise the student with some recent advances in the use of techniques and instruments for the economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals and medical technologies and apply them to a number of case studies. This is the second of two teaching modules that pursue these objectives.

Unit 1. C ost analysis in economic evaluation (2).
1.1. Design of the cost-of-illness study.
1.2. Methods of valuing paid and unpaid time.
1.3. Cost evaluation quality.
1.4. Study of the budget impact of a new drug.
Unit 2. C ost-benefit analysis (2 ).
2.1. Designing a contingent valuation study.
2.2. Designing a conjoint analysis. How to introduce the results of Willingness to Pay into a Cost-Benefit Analysis.
Unit 3. M odels and uncertainty in economic evaluation .
3.1. Economic evaluation and clinical trials.
3.2. Modelling techniques.
3.3. Sources of uncertainty in economic evaluation.
Unit 4. U se and application of economic evaluation in decision-making .
4.1. Decision criteria in cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis.
4.2. Presentation of the study and use of the results in decision-making.
4.3. Economic evaluation and pharmaceutical policy.

COURSE 5: Drug management in health systems.
Tutors: Josep Lluís Segú and Gonzalo de Miquel Serra.
Authors: Josep Lluís Segú and Gonzalo de Miquel Serra.

The general aim of this module is to make the student aware of the possibilities of applying rational drug use in order to guarantee the best possible use of pharmacological resources from the point of view of both the effectiveness and the efficiency of pharmacological interventions and apply it to a number of case studies.

Unit 1. C an we manage pharmaceuticals? The Micromanagement approach .
1.1. Pharmaceutical policy: The difference between looking and seeing.
1.2. Factors influencing the selection and use of drugs: What are we up against on managing this resource?
1.3. How to begin managing drugs: What we need to know and analyse?
Unit 2. Elements for drug management in health systems: the micromanagement approach.
2.1. Micromanagement of drugs: Strategy, tactics and techniques.
2.2. Acting on the drug: Selecting pharmaceuticals and incorporating new treatments.
2.3. From managing the drug to managing its use: Who for, when, how and why?
Unit 3. Implementation of drug management in microenvironments: information, responsibility sharing, integration and evaluation .
3.1. Sharing responsibility among the professionals: A crucial element based on information, participation and responsibility.
3.2. Elements of operational support for a drug management plan: Integration, training and evaluation.
3.3. Development of an operating plan for drug management in the "Healthy South" complex.
Unit 4. T he development process of new drugs: the perspective of the pharmaceutical industry .
4.1. Development process of a new drug.
4.2. Interactions with regulatory authorities in the development of drugs.
4.3 International drug development. Project management.
4.4. Assessment of development projects in the pharmaceutical industry: The NPV decision tree method.
4.5. Pharmacoeconomics in the pharmaceutical industry.

COURSE 6: Health economics (1): Supply
Tutor: Jaume Puig Junoy
Authors: Marisol Rodríguez

The basic aim of this module is to guide the participant in the economic analysis of the functioning of the health sector and the economic behaviour of the agents involved in it, with special reference to the application of economic concepts and instruments to the management of health services. This aim is pursued jointly with Module 7 of this training programme.

Unit 1. E conomics and its applicability to the field of health .
1.1. Understanding economics in three acts and an epilogue.
1.2. Economics applied to the area of healthcare.
Unit 2. The health production function and the analysis of health expenditure.
2.1. The health production function.
2.2. Analysis of spending on health services.
Unit 3. M arkets for health goods and services .
3.1. Economic relationships in the production and use of health services.
3.2. Failures of the health services market.
3.3. Failures of the private health insurance market.
Unit 4. Costs, payment systems and incentives in the production of health services .
4.1. Production and costs in health services.
4.2. Efficiency in the production of health services.
4.3. Physician payment systems.
4.4. Hospital funding systems.

COURSE 7 : Health economics (2): Demand
Tutors: Marisol Rodríguez and Carles Murillo i Fort
Authors: Marisol Rodríguez, Carles Murillo i Fort and Jaume Puig Junoy.

The basic aim of this module is to guide the participant in the economic analysis of the functioning of the health sector and the economic behaviour of the agents involved in it, with special reference to the application of economic concepts and instruments to the management of health services. This aim is pursued jointly with Module 6 of this training programme.

Unit 1. Demand for health and for medical care .
1.1. Demand and need: two different models to answer the same question.
1.2. Demand and investment in health: the Grossman model.
1.3. Empirical estimation of demand.
Unit 2. Variability in Medical Practice (VMP ).
2.1. What we mean by variability in medical practice?
2.2. Trying to identify the magnitude of variability.
2.3. Arguments explaining VMP and policy orientation.
Unit 3. Technology, outsourcing and competition in health services .
3.1. Technology in the production of health services.
3.2. Outsourcing or direct production?
3.3. Competition and the organisation of health services.
Unit 4. The goal of equity in health: theory and applications .
4.1. The concept of equity in health.
4.2. Empirical evidence of the existence of socioeconomic inequalities in health.
4.3. The responsibility/contribution of health systems to (in)equit.

COURSE 8: Modelling techniques in economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals and healthcare technologies.
Tutors: José Manuel Rodríguez Barrios and Carlos Crespo Palomo.
Authors: José Manuel Rodríguez Barrios, Carlos Crespo Palomo and David Serrano.

The aim of the seminar is to provide the participant with practical skills and abilities for seeking solutions to a problem of economic evaluation in healthcare. The concepts of decision analysis and of modelling techniques in economic evaluation will therefore be reviewed in order to highlight the practical development of decision analysis and Markov models which compare different courses of action, health programmes, healthcare interventions and complementary treatments. During the module, the participant thus confronts the typical problems of the practical application of economic evaluation models and develops various tools to solve them.

Unit 1: Introduction to modelling techniques in studies on economic evaluation of healthcare technologies.
1.1. Basic concepts.
1.2. Types of model and justification of their use.
1.3. Advantages and inconveniences of the models.
1.4. Guidelines for a critical reading of models of economic evaluation.
1.5. Self-assessment exercise: Excel for economic evaluation.
1.6. Unit assessment: Critical reading of an article (test).
Unit 2: Model preparation phases.
2.1. Search for information.
2.2. Decision analysis models.
2.3. Sensitivity analysis.
2.4. Graphic representation of cost-effectiveness models.
2.5. Self-assessment exercise: preparation of a decision tree.
2.6. Unit assessment: preparation of a decision tree (test).
2.7. Presentation of the final assessment exercise and creation of work groups (group forum).
Unit 3: Markov Models (first part).
3.1. Basic concepts.
3.2. Draw a Markov model (decision diagram and graph).
3.3. Structure of the information.
3.4. Propagation of the cohort.
3.5. Self-assessment exercise: graphic representation of Markov models (decision diagram and graph).
3.6. Self-assessment exercise: Preparation of a deterministic model.
3.7. Unit assessment: Preparation of a deterministic model (test).
3.8. Definition of working roles (group forum) and bibliographic search (clinical benefits) for the final assessment exercise.
Unit 4: Statistical techniques for modelling.
4.1. Rates and probabilities.
4.2. Survival study probabilities.
4.3. Propagation of uncertainty in regression models.
4.4. Advantages and disadvantages of modelling software (Excel, TreeAge, Winbugs, Arena, etc).
4.5. Case study: rates to probabilities exercise, estimation of probability of survival studies and propagation of uncertainty.
4.6. Definition of comparators and of the structure of the final assessment model. Continuation of the bibliographic search (clinical benefits and quality of life).
Unit 5: Advanced Markov models.
5.1. Uncertainty.
5.2. Selection of the probability distributions.
5.3. Cost-effectiveness plane and willingness to pay curve.
5.4. Value of the perfect information.
5.5. Case study: preparation of a probabilistic Markov model.
5.6. Unit assessment: preparation of a probabilistic Markov model (test).
5.7. Continuation of the bibliographic search for the final assessment, focused on the use of resources and unit costs. Preparation of the economic evaluation model and calculation of probabilities.
Unit 6: Final assessment.
6.1. Completion of the bibliographic search.
6.2. Preparation of the deterministic economic evaluation model.
6.3. Transforming the model into probabilistic.
6.4. Obtaining numerical and graphic results.
6.5. Forum of the participants of each group with the progress of the work and queries.
6.6. Preparation of the activity of the module.

COURSE 9: Term paper.
Coordinator: Carles Murillo Fort
Tutor: The tutor will be assigned to each participant individually in accordance with the subject chosen for the term paper. The course management will assign to each participant a tutor who will supervise and control the activities and offer support for the queries which may arise on preparing it.

The paper consists of writing a document, on a topic chosen by each participant, containing elements of economic analysis on some points of interest of the subjects and content included in the course.

Final Degree

  • The successful completion of Modules 1 to 8 plus the Term Paper (Module 9) entitles the participant to the Máster Universitario en Economía de la Salud y del Medicamento, issued by Pompeu Fabra University.

Issuance of official Master's Degrees: The issuance of officially recognised diplomas in Spain implies the payment of a certificate issuance tax. This tax is officially approved by the Catalan Government and it varies from year to year. The programme tuition fees do not include this tax, which must be paid by the student for the successful attainment of the programme's final diploma.

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