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Am J Pharm Educ. 2010 April 12; 74(3): 53a.
PMCID: PMC2865420

Pharmacoeconomics: From Theory to Practice

Reviewed by David A. Holdford, PhDcorresponding author

Renee J. G. Arnold (Editor) 
Pharmacoeconomics: From Theory to Practice.
Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. 2009. 264. $119.95ISBN-13: 978-1420084221.

Pharmacoeconomics: From Theory to Practice introduces readers to the major concepts and principles of pharmacoeconomics and cost-effectiveness analysis. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, the text emphasizes how to apply pharmacoeconomic modeling and decision-making to real-world dilemmas. Issues relating to decisions made in drug regulation, approval, and pricing of the human papillomavirus vaccine are woven throughout the text to illustrate key concepts and ideas.

The book is edited by Renee J. G. Arnold: pharmacist, adjunct faculty member, and consultant. Dr. Arnold recruited a highly accomplished group of experts to contribute well-written and informative book chapters including William McGhan, J. Jaime Caro, Gordon Guyatt, Michael Drummond, and others.

The book consists of 16 chapters, with the following titles: Introduction to Pharmacoeconomics; Decision Modeling Techniques; Cost of Illness; Markov Modeling in Decision Analysis; Retrospective Database Analysis; What Is Cost-Minimization Analysis?; Cost-Effectiveness Analysis; Budget Impact Analysis; Cost-Utility Analysis: A Case Study of a Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine; Some Problems/Assumptions in Pharmacoeconomic Analysis; Patient-Reported Outcome Measures; Sensitivity Analysis; Use of Pharmacoeconomics in Drug Reimbursement in Australia Canada, and the United Kingdom: What Can We Learn from International Experience?; Pharmacoeconomics in Disease Management: Practical Applications and Persistent Challenges; Computer-Aided Decision Making from Drug Discovery to Pharmacoeconomics; and Speculations on the Future Challenges and Value of Pharmacoeconomics. Each chapter can stand by itself as a work of scholarship. As an example, Alan Haycox's chapter on cost-minimization analysis provides one the best discussions available about when cost-minimization is an appropriate method for economic analysis.

Dr. Arnold does not state the intended audience for this text. As an introduction to pharmacoeconomics, the book contains concepts and terminology which are fairly sophisticated for individuals with no prior background on the subject. No additional tools of pedagogy are provided to aid teachers, such as a list of learning objectives, a glossary of terms, exercises, and chapter review questions. In addition, the book's price (available new and online for approximately $80) is relatively high for general adoption for teaching students in a pharmacy school. The book is better suited for teaching graduate level classes or used as a reference for educators and researchers.

Pharmacoeconomics: From Theory to Practice is one of an expanding collection of books on pharmacoeconomics, health economics, and decision analysis available to pharmacy educators. This one is a contribution to that collection due to its content and quality of writing. Although the book is an introduction, individuals with experience in pharmacoeconomics may benefit from reading it, too.


Articles from American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education are provided here courtesy of American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy