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Online Master in Health Economics and Pharmacoeconomics

Program curriculum and final degree

Program Curriculum

Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) support this educational initiative by offering an academic endorsement of the content, methods and teaching staff, as well as awarding the corresponding qualification.

  • Preliminary Phase : Arrival in the virtual global campus
  • Course 1: Economic Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Technologies (1): Basic Concepts
  • Course 2: Quantitative Techniques Applied to Health Service and Pharmacy 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)
  • Course 7: Health Economics (2)
  • Course 8: Modelling Techniques in Economic Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Technologies
  • Course 9: Term Paper

Recommendation: The recommended amount of time for the participant to spend on each teaching unit of each module is estimated at a minimum of 12.5 hours. However, this figure can vary depending on individuals' skill and previous knowledge.

COURSES CONTENT:

  • COURSE 1. Economic Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Technologies (1): Basic Concepts Author: Jaume Puig-Junoy and José Luis Pinto Tutor: Jaume Puig-Junoy The general aim of this module is to introduce the participant to 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 this objective.
    • Teaching 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?
    • Teaching Unit 2. Cost Analysis in Economic Evaluation (1). 2.1. Estimating the costs of a new treatment. 2.2. Discounting. 2.3. The distinction between average cost and marginal cost.
    • Teaching 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).
    • Teaching 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 net monetary value. 4.3. Valuing the outcome in terms of willingness to pay.
  • COURSE 2: Quantitative Techniques Applied to Health Service and Pharmacy Management Author: Carles Murillo Tutor: Pilar García Gómez 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.
    • Teaching Unit 1. Measuring the relationship between health care expenditure and income. 1.1. Motivation. 1.2. Association between drug expenditure and income. 1.3. Measurement of the degree of association between expenditure and income. 1.4. Simple regression as an instrument for evaluating the predictive ability of income. 1.5. Evaluation of the results of the analysis: How to determine the significance of the fit?
    • Teaching Unit 2. Factors Determining the Efficacy of a Treatment. 2.1. Motivation. 2.2. Proposed method for determining a treatment's efficacy. 2.3. Factors determining changes in the outcome of a treatment. 2.4. Determining the weight of each explanatory variable. 2.5. Do the amount of drugs and personal characteristics determine the treatment's efficacy? 2.6. Statistical diagnosis of the model used.
    • Teaching Unit 3. Building pharmaceutical budgets. 3.1. Motivation. 3.2. Building pharmaceutical budgets in primary care. 3.3. What happens when an explanatory variable is a categorical variable? 3.4. Pharmaceutical expenditure in primary care teams.
    • Teaching Unit 4. Prescriber behaviour. 4.1. Motivation. 4.2. Omission of important variables from the regression. 4.3. Training of physicians and rationality of pharmaceutical expenditure. 4.4. Validation of the regression model. 4.5. Determining factors of dichotomic behaviours.
  • COURSE 3: Economics and Policies of Pharmaceutical Financing. Author and Tutor: 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.
    • Teaching 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.
    • Teaching 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.
    • Teaching 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.
    • Teaching Unit 4. Patents 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 Authors: Eulàlia Dalmau and Jaume Puig-Junoy Tutor: Jaume Puig- Junoy The general aim of this module is to familiarise the participant 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 this objective.
    • Teaching Unit 1. Cost Analysis in Economic Evaluation (2). 1.1. Cost-of-Illness Studies. 1.2. Methods of valuing paid and unpaid time in health production. 1.3. The quality of economic evaluation studies in cost calculation. 1.4. Budget impact analysis.
    • Teaching Unit 2. Cost-Benefit Analysis (2): Methods of Estimating Willingness to Pay. 2.1. Designing a contingent valuation study. 2.2. Designing a conjoint analysis.
    • Teaching Unit 3. Models and Uncertainty in Economic Evaluation. 3.1. Economic evaluation and clinical trials. 3.2. Modelling techniques. 3.3. Sources of uncertainty in economic evaluation
    • Teaching Unit 4. Use 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 Authors: Lluís Segú and Gonzalo de Miquel Serra Tutors: Lluís Segú, Gonzalo de Miquel Serra and Pilar García Gómez The general aim of this module is to make the participant 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.
    • Teaching Unit 1. Can We Manage Pharmaceuticals in Health Systems? The Micromanagement Approach. 1.1. Pharmaceutical policy: The difference between looking and seeing. 1.2. Factors influencing the use of drugs: What are we up against in management? 1.3 How to begin managing drugs: What we need to know and analyse.
    • Teaching Unit 2. The Development Process of New Drugs: The Perspective of the Pharmaceutical Industry. 2.1. Introduction 2.2. Development process of a new drug. 2.3. Interactions with regulatory authorities in the development of new drugs. 2.4. International drug development. Project management. 2.5. Assessment of development projects in the pharmaceutical industry: The NPV decision tree method. 2.6. Pharmacoeconomics in the pharmaceutical industry.
    • Teaching Unit 3. Elements for Drug Management in Health Systems: The Micromanagement Approach. 3.1. Micromanagement of drugs: Strategy, tactics and techniques. 3.2. Acting on the drug: Selecting pharmaceuticals and incorporating new ones. 3.3. From managing the drug to managing its use: Who for, when, how and why?
    • Teaching Unit 4. Implementation of Drug Management in Microenvironments: Information, Responsibility Sharing, Integration and Evaluation. 4.1. Sharing responsibility among the professionals: A crucial element based on information, participation and responsibility. 4.2. Elements of operational support for a drug management plan: Integration, training and evaluation. 4.3. Development of an operating plan for drug management in the "Healthy South" complex.
  • COURSE 6: Health Economics (1) Authors: Marisol Rodríguez Martínez and Jaume Puig-Junoy Tutors: Teaching Unit 1 and 2: Marisol Rodríguez; Teaching Unit 3 and 4: 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 7 of this programme.
    • Teaching Unit 1. Economics 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 health care
    • Teaching 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.
    • Teaching Unit 3. Markets 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.
    • Teaching 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) Authors: Marisol Rodríguez Martínez, Carles Murillo and Jaume Puig-Junoy Tutors: Teaching Unit 1 and 2: Marisol Rodríguez; Teaching Unit 3 and 4: 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 programme.
    • Teaching 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: the role of the different explanatory variables
    • Teaching 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.
    • Teaching 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.
    • Teaching 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)equity.
  • COURSE 8: Modelling Techniques in Economic Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Technologies Authors: José Manuel Rodríguez Barrios, Carlos Crespo Palomo and David SerranoTutors: José Manuel Rodríguez Barrios and Carlos Crespo Palomo The basic aim of this Module is to provide the participant with the practical skills and abilities needed when looking for solutions to a problem of economic evaluation in healthcare. Thus, the concepts of decision analysis and of modelling techniques for economic evaluation will be reviewed in order to emphasise the practical development of models of decision analysis and Markov models that compare several courses of action, healthcare programmes, health intervention procedures or complementary treatments. Throughout the module, the participant will deal with the typical problems involved in the practical application of economic evaluation models and will develop different techniques for solving them.
    • Teaching Unit 1. Introduction to modelling techniques in economic evaluation studies for healthcare technologies. 1.1. Basic concepts.1.2. Model types and justification of their use.1.3. Advantages and disadvantages of the models.1.4. Guidelines for the critical appraisal of economic evaluation models.1.5. Basic knowledge of Excel for economic evaluation.
    • Teaching Unit 2. Elaboration phases of a model. 2.1. Conceptualization of the medical problem.2.2. Conceptualization of the model.2.3. Estimation of probabilities, use of resources, costs and uses.2.4. Calculation of the expcted values.2.5. Graphical presentation of the models.2.6. Sensitivity analysis.2.7. Transferability of results of economic evaluations.
    • Teaching Unit 3. Introduction to Markov models. 3.1. Basic concepts.3.2. Graphical presentation of a Markov model.3.3. Dissemination of the Cohort.
    • Teaching Unit 4. Advantages of Markov models. Dealing with uncertainty in probabilistic models 4.1. Uncertainty4.2. Probabilistic model.4.3. Graphical presentation of results.4.4 Expected value of perfect information.
    • Teaching Unit 5. Statistical techniques and tools for the elaboration of decision models 5.1. Probabilities calculation.5.2. Regression based calculations.5.3. Advantages and disadvantages of the modelling software.5.4. Sample size for cost effectiveness studies.
  • COURSE 9: Term Paper Module Coordinators: Jaume Puig-Junoy and Pilar García-Gómez To write a document, on a topic chosen by each participant, containing elements of economic analysis on some point of interest of the subjects and content included in the course. After completing the seven taught modules, each participant is required to produce a Term Paper on a subject related to health economics and pharmacoeconomics. The Term Paper is supervised by lecturers belonging to the Academic Board.

Final Degree

Qualification and Academic Value

The successful completion of Modules 1 to 8 plus the Term Paper entitles the participant to the Master in Health Economics and Pharmacoeconomics, 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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