About this Research Topic
Pharmacoeconomics is a relatively young scientific discipline dealing with the analysis of the costs of drug therapy to healthcare and society, with growing importance in healthcare systems worldwide. This leads to better allocation of healthcare resources and explicit decision making based on evidence-based healthcare. Pharmacoeconomics is applied during early development of medicinal products, clinical trials, regulatory affairs, market access strategies, pricing and reimbursement, and post-marketing evaluations. As a result, it has become an established core element in efficient decision making in many countries. In 2013, South Africa introduced a draft guidance on pharmacoeconomic submissions in its healthcare system. Furthermore, with the planned introduction of the National Health Insurance in South Africa pharmacoeconomics will become even more important for efficient allocation of the healthcare budget by identifying affordable patient-centred interventions. However, the healthcare system South Africa – like many other developing countries - is lacking highly skilled and experienced professionals in pharmacoeconomics.
Fundisa African Academy of Medicines Development, in cooperation with the National department of Health, organised a training workshop on the new developments in pharmacoeconomics with a particular focus on South Africa as an example for a developing country. Besides pharmaceutical drug products, medical devices and diagnostics were also discussed. Experts with a vast experience in pharmacoeconomics from Europe and South Africa with industry-related, academic or governmental background were invited as speakers. The workshop was structured by three major topics over three days. Following a one-day introduction to the fundamentals in pharmacoeconomics, the second day provided a broad overview of the current developments of pharmacoeconomics including outcomes research, patient-reported outcomes, health technology assessments (HTA), and comparisons between pharmacoeconomics in first-world countries and South Africa as a developing country. The last day introduced novel trends in pharmacoeconomics using case-studies from different countries
This workshop introduced high professional short course training in pharmacoeconomics to South Africa with the intent to provide capacity building to the South African healthcare system. The short-course workshop addressed not only fundamentals, but also latest developments and trends in pharmacoeconomics on healthcare products.
This Research Topic will present manuscripts of the main talks given at this workshop. Furthermore, other experts in the field are welcome to contribute their experiences.
IN MEMORIAM: This Research Topic is dedicated to Dr Tanja Kastien-Hilka, member of the programme committee of the workshop and assigned co-editor for this research project, who sadly passed away in March 2017. Tanja was an outstanding colleague and friend. She will be commemorated for her outstanding fervour, dedication and braveness with which she pursued her academic activities, focused on public health in South Africa, while facing an incurable disease. Dr Tanja Kastien-Hilka is survived by her caring family, including her husband, Frank Kastien, and her son, Rafael.
Keywords: Pharmacoeconomics, South Africa, outcomes research
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