Of the 90 colleges and schools contacted initially by phone, 7 did not currently have someone teaching pharmacoeconomics (eg, they were looking for an instructor or were a new school). Therefore, survey instruments were e-mailed to 83 instructors who taught pharmacoeconomics. After follow-up survey instruments were sent, data were collected on all 83 colleges and schools with regard to the first 3 items: (1) required and/or elective, (2) number of hours, and (3) number of students. Information on topics and resources (questions 4 and 5) were collected from 67 (81%) colleges and schools.
Among the 83 colleges and schools that had an instructor who taught pharmacoeconomics, 69 covered pharmacoeconomic topics in a required course only, 5 covered pharmacoeconomic topics in an elective course only, and 9 covered these topics in both a required and elective course. Responses to questions 2 and 3 are therefore summarized for 78 required courses (69 + 9) and 14 elective courses (5 + 9).
The average number of required hours offered by the 78 colleges and schools was 21 (range 1 - 48; SD = 14; median = 19). The average number of elective hours offered by 14 colleges and schools was 31 hours (range 4 - 48; SD = 15; median = 30; Table ). Figures and show that the number of required hours followed a normal distribution, while the distribution of the number of elective classroom hours was negatively skewed. The majority, 8 of 14 colleges and schools, with elective courses provided 30 or more hours of pharmacoeconomic-related topics.
Pharmacoeconomics Education Course Hours Offered at US Colleges of Pharmacy in 2007
Classroom hours for pharmacoeconomics-related topics in required courses (n = 78).
Classroom hours for pharmacoeconomics-related topics in elective courses (n = 14)
The average number of students in the required courses (n = 78) was 124 students (range 45-300; SD = 57; median = 115). In the elective courses (N = 14), the number of students ranged from 5 to 85 with a mean of 19 (SD = 22; median = 10; Table ). Figures and show that the number of students enrolled in required courses followed a normal distribution, while the distribution of the number of students in an elective course was positively skewed. If a course was required, all pharmacy students in that college would be enrolled, and the number of pharmacy students for US colleges of pharmacy is normally distributed. In contrast, some elective courses had as few as 5 students enrolled.
Students Receiving Pharmacoeconomics Education at US Colleges of Pharmacy in 2007
Number of students in required courses with pharmacoeconomics-related topics (N = 78).
Number of students in elective courses with pharmacoeconomics-related topics (N = 14).
Of the 83 instructors who responded, 67 provided a list of pharmacoeconomic-related topics covered in their curriculum. These were categorized by the authors. Table shows the most commonly listed topics. The most universally covered topics included: types of pharmacoeconomics studies (n = 65; 97%), article/research evaluation (n = 65; 67%), decision analysis (n = 45; 67%) and health-related quality of life (n = 41; 61%; Table ). Of the 67 colleges and schools that responded to the question about resources (books or articles) used in their course, the most common textbooks that were required or recommended for their course were: Bootman, Townsend and McGhan's Principles of Pharmacoeconomics
, third edition13
(n = 19, 28%); Grauer, Lee, and Odom's Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes: Applications for Patient Care
, second editiond14
(n = 11, 16%); Drummond, Sculpher, and Torrance's Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes
, third edition15
(n = 8, 12%).
Pharmacoeconomics Topics Listed by at Least 10 of 67 Respondents
Although 46 articles on pharmacoeconomic-related topics (excluding case studies/articles for evaluation) were listed as being used in the courses, no article was listed for more than 1 school. A complete list of these 46 articles is available from the authors on request. These articles were also incorporated into the ISPOR Educators' Toolkit web site.9
Comparisons With Previous Survey Results
Comparisons of the 2 surveys are summarized in Table . During the 1996-1997 academic year, about 80% (63 of 79) of US pharmacy colleges and schools offered pharmacoeconomic-related education at the professional level.10
In this 2007 survey, 83 of 90 colleges and schools (92%) offered this type of education. Direct comparisons of other findings are complicated because of the way the data were summarized. In the previous survey, data were summarized by type of professional student, BS versus PharmD. Some colleges and schools had both BS and PharmD students enrolled during the 1996-1997 academic year, while offering pharmacoeconomic-related topics in both elective and required courses. The mean and median number of clock hours and students was not reported based on elective versus required courses, but based on the number of students enrolled as PharmD versus BS students. Even though direct comparisons are limited, the median number of clock hours for both required (median = 19 hours) and elective (median = 30 hours) courses are higher than the 1996-1997 values10
for BS pharmacy students (median = 8 hours) and PharmD students (median = 16 hours).
Comparison of Studies That Assessed the Extent of Pharmacoeconomics Education at the Professional Level in the United States