Training programmes: Where do future health economists come from?

3 min read
First Published: 
Feb 2008

Key Learnings contained in this article:

For those interested in entering or advancing in the field of health economics and outcomes research, and for those looking for newly-minted researchers to employ, it would help to know where training for the field is available. An online search, by no means exhaustive, turned up quite a variety of schools, universities, and organisations offering educational opportunities.

The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) provides a list of university degree programmes, by country, with contact information and web links. The list shows 38 universities in the United States, 8 in the United Kingdom, 5 in France, 3 in Canada, 2 each in Germany and the Netherlands, and 1 each in Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, and Thailand. Most of the programmes are at the master’s-degree level. ISPOR also has a network of Student Chapters at many of these universities.

Health Economics education presents an online list of universities in the United Kingdom and elsewhere that offer elective health economics modules in undergraduate and MSc programmes. It also lists medical schools that offer health economics in the medical curriculum. This site is under development, so it promises to grow in utility.

The International Health Economics Association presents fairly detailed information on current educational programmes. Categories of information include distance learning, master’s, PhD, postgraduate/non-degree, seminars, short courses, and undergraduate education.

The website also offers information and links to a variety of resources for health economics education. In addition to degree programmes, it includes books, audio programmes, databases, journals, libraries, government agencies, seminars and workshops, and pharma/biotech companies. The founder and president of is Patti Peeples, RPh, PhD, the focus of this month’s “HOC people”.

Health Economics Digest offers e-learning courses on introductory health economics subjects such as PROs, health economics concepts, health economics methodology, comparative effectiveness and evidence based medicine and demonstrating the value of health care. For introductory courses, they cover all the elements in easy to understand modules. The delivery is excellent too as it allows users to login and save where they are up to and re-visit at a later date.

The sources cited are good places to start for anyone wishing to learn more about health economics education. They provide current information and appear to be growing with the field.

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Robert Hand
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