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PSCI306 Topics in Pharmaceutical Industry

A modular course detailing topics of relevance to the pharmaceutical industry such as clinical epidemiology, pricing and reimbursement, pharmacoeconomics, patient experience, pharmacovigilance and marketing.

Once medicines are developed, there are a number of requirements pertaining to the registration, licensing, distribution and monitoring of pharmaceutical products. These factors include clinical trials, health economic considerations including pricing and reimbursement, the role of statutory authorities, monitoring of medicines for adverse reactions (pharmacovigilance), and how patient factors and preferences influence medicines availability and use.

The aim of this paper is to introduce students to these concepts to allow for a complete view of the regulatory, economic and sociologic aspects of the pharmaceutical industry and how medicines are subjected to scrutiny in this regard before and after they are launched in the population.

Paper title Topics in Pharmaceutical Industry
Paper code PSCI306
Subject Pharmaceutical Science
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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54 points at 200-level from Science Schedule C or Commerce Schedule C.

Professor Carlo Marra

Teaching staff

Paper Co-ordinator: Professor Carlo Marra

Teaching Staff: Dr Mudassir Anwar

Paper Structure

PSCI306 will be taught through lectures and workshops covering the following general topics,

  • Concepts in clinical epidemiology.
  • The journey of a medicine: from conception to use and reuse.
  • Medicine information.
  • Concepts in pharmacovigilance.
  • Concepts in pharmacoeconomics.

Textbooks will be available through the library. Titles to be confirmed.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Self-motivation, Teamwork
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

By completion of this paper students will be able to,

  1. Define key concepts in clinical epidemiology including basic definitions, study designs and principles of diagnostic testing and treatment.
  2. Define key concepts and terms in pharmacoepidemiology including relevant study designs, immortal time bias, confounding by indication and other threats to study validity.
  3. Describe the key concepts of pricing and reimbursement of pharmaceuticals and the role health economics plays including the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio and funding thresholds in various pharmaceutical markets.
  4. Describe the roles patient experiences and preferences play in bringing drugs to market.
  5. Define key concepts in pharmacovigilance including adverse event reporting, monitoring, and assessment of risk including different study designs for assessing pharmaceutical safety and effectiveness.
  6. Describe the role of pharmaceutical marketing as well as media in pharmaceutical industry.
  7. Identify types of literature and evaluate the information source.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 9-10, 13-14, 16, 18-22
Wednesday 13:00-13:50 9-14, 16-22
Thursday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 13:00-14:50 12, 14, 17, 19, 21