Pharmacoeconomics (also known as Pharmceutical Economics) is the science of drug comparison and evaluation. In short, pharmacoeconomics involves comparing the value of one drug (or drug therapy) to another and determining the monetary value of drugs. It is a multi-disciplinary field that combines the study of pharmacy with economics. Pharmacoeconomics evaluates how much it costs to develop a drug versus how much profit can be made selling the drug. This evaluative process involves several subprocesses, such as cost-benefit analysis, cost-utility analysis, cost-minimization analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis. Since the developers of drugs must know how to allocated research and development funds, pharmacoeconomics is an essential field within the larger field of health economics–in fact, it’sone of the main drivers of the drug and pharmaceutical industries.
While there isn’t a starndard education path to a career in pharmacoeconomics, in order to work in this field individuals must have a strong background in clinical sciences, business and economics. Most professionals enter this field with a degree in economics. There are however several colleges and universities that now offer specialized graduate degree programs specifically in pharmacoeconomics. These programs are typically stand alone but often require students to also obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree in conjuction or before entering the program. A few graduate level pharmacoeconomics programs will accepted students with undergraduate degrees in biology, chemistry, pharmacy or health sciences.
There are two structured graduate-level degrees offered in pharmacoeconomics, the Masters of Science (M.S.) in Pharmacoeconomics and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Pharmacoeconomics. The master’s degree in pharmacoeconomics is a 2-year degree that prepares students for entry- to mid-level positions in pharmaceutical research in the private sector or in higher education. The Ph.D. in pharmacoeconomics is useful for students pursuing research or teaching positions at the university level. It also prepares students for leadership and management opportunities in pharmacoeconomics with pharmaceutical and drug companies. The Ph.D in Pharmacoeconomics typically takes 2 years to complete beyond the Pharm.D. and 4 years beyond a master’s degree. Most Ph.D. programs require candidates to have a master’s degree, however, a few colleges will accept students with a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study and allow them to complete their master’s and Ph.D. at once.
At both the undergraduate and graduate degree level, higher education programs in pharmacoeconomics and pharmaceutical economics will address topics including health care organization and management, health care systems, health care policy, health economics, pharmacy services, pharmacoeconomics, pharmaceutical industry operations, and outcomes research. Below is a comprehensive, editor compiled directory of accredited colleges and universities offering degree programs in pharmacoeconomics and closely related disciplines.