Health and Pharmaceutical Outcomes is an applied field of study that uses knowledge and analytical approaches from a variety of foundational disciplines (e.g., economics, epidemiology, finance, medicine, pharmacy, public-policy, education, statistics) to evaluate health technologies (pharmaceuticals, electronic prescribing, electronic health records and health information exchanges). The primary focus of research in Pharmaceutical Economics, Policy, and Outcomes is to improve health and healthcare delivery at the patient, health plan, and population level through the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals or pharmacy services. Studies range in scope, but include areas such as cost-benefit/cost-effectiveness analysis, comparative effectiveness research, patient safety and quality improvement research, health disparities analysis, drug-drug interaction analysis, health technology assessment, meta-analysis, quality-of-life assessment, disease management and drug use evaluation. A myriad of study designs, outcomes, and techniques are used for research in this field; the ultimate goal is to better inform health care executives, physicians, and decision makers at all levels of government regarding the value of pharmaceuticals and the impact of policy decisions that affect the utilization of and payment for medications.
Since its emergence in the 1980s, there have been rapid advances in the field of Health and Pharmaceutical Outcomes, characterized by evolving standards and techniques, growth in the number of studies conducted, and use of health technology assessment by governmental agencies in the United States and abroad. This program of study provides students with a firm basis to further intellectual inquiries that contribute to the development of standards, techniques, and policy.
The expanded role of Health and Pharmaceutical Outcomes in the health-related sciences is evidenced by the increased need for highly trained professional personnel (Ph.D., M.S., MD-Ph.D., PharmD-Ph.D. degrees). This need is reflected in the number of positions available in research-teaching-service areas of health professional schools (e.g., medicine, pharmacy, public health), university graduate and undergraduate programs, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, managed care organizations, state and federal government research and regulatory agencies, local, state, and federal healthcare financing, and delivery entities (e.g., Medicaid, Medicare).
The Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program track in Health and Pharmaceutical Outcomes at The University of Arizona is oriented toward state-of-the-art techniques as applied to pharmaceutical economics, drug safety, quality of life, policy, and the medication use process. Students are expected to master a variety of fundamental disciplines and apply the resulting knowledge and skills in the development of a comprehensive research plan.