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 World Health Organization
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 Pharmaceutical Policy

    Improving Access to and Use of Essential Medicines



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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

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Medicines and Insurance Coverage (MedIC) Initiative

Overview

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Glossary of Terms Used for Pharmaceuticals and Pharmaceutical Policies in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
 

 

















BU Graduate Courses

BU Master of Public Health Program Pharmaceutical Track

In the fall of 2007, the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) inaugurated the Pharmaceutical Assessment, Management and Policy (PAMP) program. The PAMP program is a track within the MPH program for students who wish to concentrate their MPH studies and experiences in the area of pharmaceuticals and public health. The PAMP program is interdepartmental, including the departments of biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy and management, and international health. The PAMP program is a supplementary option under the existing MPH program and will provide students with training in pharmaceutical health care management, policy, research and outcomes. The PAMP program will prepare students for positions within management consulting firms, non-governmental organizations, donors and lending banks, government, managed care organizations, contract research organizations, and the pharmaceutical industry. Successful completion of the PAMP program will lead to a PAMP certificate and documentation on an official BU transcript in addition to the MPH degree.

The goal of PAMP is to provide students with the knowledge and expertise to address pharmaceutical issues in a public health perspective. At completion of the PAMP program, it is expected that students can meet the following objectives:
  • Identify pharmaceutical issues and priorities in the context of public health.
  • Discuss the realm of policy and program interventions that could be used to address pharmaceutical issues in public health, including the relevant positive and negative experiences of different organizations, countries, etc., in implementation of these interventions.
  • Participate in the design and implementation of policy and program interventions to address pharmaceutical issues in the context of public health.
  • Evaluate policy and program interventions to assess the impact of interventions.
  • Contribute to the design and conduct of research on pharmaceutical related topics.

BU Course in International Trade, Patents, and Access to Medicines: Globalization, Intellectual Property and Public Health

The potential effects of international trade and multi- and bilateral trade agreements on public health have become more apparent in the past decade. Public health professionals need to become aware of such issues as they are important to the World Health Organization, international NGOs (such as MSF) as well as ministries of health. This course, designed by Dr. Warren Kaplan, introduces students to, and guides analysis of, the empirical evidence and policy implications of these global rules about patents, trade and public health. Various studies suggest that enhanced global trade and patent rules could raise prices of new drugs markedly in developing countries. Substantial uncertainty remains on this point. There is some possibility that patents will raise incentives for R&D in the various tropical communicable diseases, but these patent rules do nothing directly to increase the incomes of patients, who would, if anything, become less able to afford new medicines. This is a key example of the paradox of globalization. The world may be “flattening” but globalization is also creating opportunities for even greater disparities among people within and between countries.

The goal is for the student to develop a thorough understanding of current and practical issues in the analysis of international public health agendas as influenced by global rules about trade and intellectual property. The impact of such rules on national and international public health, pharmaceutical innovation, and access to medicines, and on environmental diversity are examples of some of the important practical topics that are addressed. See Annex 2 for Course Syllabus.


BU Doctor of Public Health Program

The Boston University Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree program is an interdepartmental offering intended for experienced public health professionals who seek advanced training for leadership positions in public health. The DrPH is the highest professional degree in public health. This practice-oriented degree program trains public health professionals to develop, implement, and evaluate public health programs and policies nationally and internationally. For purposes of mentoring and specialized training, applicants must identify a home department from among International Health, Maternal and Child Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Pharmaceutical Policy. The CCPP serves as the anchor for DrPH students interested in a concentration in Pharmaceutical Policy.


BU Course on Physician-Pharmaceutical Industry Relationships

Since 2002, BU has offered a graduate course in Preventing Corruption in Health Programs. Directed by Dr. Taryn Vian, this course teaches skills in analyzing risks for corruption, as well as strategies for increasing accountability and transparency in order to mitigate risk. The pharmaceutical sector is analyzed in detail, and includes cases which deal with corruption in procurement systems, diversion and theft of drugs, and, most recently, possible risks in physician-pharma relations. Guest lecturers have included Dr. Jerome Kassirer, a former Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine who has published extensively on this topic, and Dr. William Savedoff, author of Diagnosis Corruption: Fraud in Latin America’s Public Hospitals. The course analyzes policy alternatives such as distance and disclosure mechanisms to manage conflict of interest, codes of conduct, and legal remedies to minimize the risk of bias in drug management and use decisions. Student projects involve interviews with key informants and analyses of current events and country situations.

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Information from the Third International Conference for Improving Use of Medicines, ICIUM2011