|Year : 2006 | Volume
| Issue : 5 | Page : 376-377
International society for pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research
Department of Pharmacology, JIPMER, Pondicherry - 605006, India
Department of Pharmacology, JIPMER, Pondicherry - 605006
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Singh J. International society for pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research. Indian J Pharmacol 2006;38:376-7
The science of pharmacoeconomics is a relatively new and rapidly evolving field which traces its roots to the broader discipline of health economics. The application of pharmacoeconomic principles serve as a major tool that aims to decrease health expenditures and optimise healthcare results. Pharmacoeconomics addresses both economic and humanistic issues and borrows ideas and methods from a variety of domains including clinical epidemiology, economics, statistics and psychometrics. The use of traditional biomedical measures, such as the results of laboratory tests, or mortality and morbidity figures are no longer considered a reliable measure of deciding if a treatment has been successful, this is also true for the outcomes of drug treatment. Clinical trials are now being designed to assess outcomes like Health Related Quality of Life indicators. At present the practice of pharmacoeconomics is seen as the specialized 'twin' of outcomes research which focuses more on pharmaceutical drugs as opposed to general healthcare services.
The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is an international organization promoting the science of pharmacoeconomics and health outcomes research with the mission "to translate pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research into practice to ensure that society allocates scarce healthcare resources wisely, fairly, and efficiently". The website of the organisation-www.ispor.org provides a forum for the Society and a portal for an exchange of knowledge. ISPOR envisions itself as a leader of an international society that has members from various disciplines interested in pharmacoeconomics and health outcomes issues. Various special interest groups are featured on the site, all of which work towards developing consensus statements on various tools and indices for research purposes and disseminating this information to prescribers and the lay public.
The ISPOR research digest situated under the "Research" tab is a searchable database of presentations from ISPOR meetings since 1998. The presentations are most appropriate for individuals trying to develop or inculcate outcomes research related issues in their work. The collection of topics under "Research practices" is catalogued into various categories related to Good Research Practices, ethics and information access. Studies on Cost-effectiveness Analysis, Cost-utility analysis, drug costs and budget impacts are also included in this section. The place of outcomes research in Evidence Based Medicine is well discussed as an issue. Pharmacoeconomic impact of medication compliance and related problems are also highlighted.
The section on "Research and communications" consists of resources for health care administrators, policy makers, and practitioners which help balance and translate pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research into practice. The report, "Pharmacoeconomics: Identifying the Issues" provides a comprehensive guide for researchers and practitioners to formulate a consensus on methodology, interpretation, and use of pharmacoeconomic information. Similar tools on developing Health Related Quality of Life evaluation tools and putting them into practice are also very effectively explained under this column.
The "Education" link provides a unique portal for various modes of getting informed on pharmacoeconomics and health outcomes research. It includes a link to a repository of books and articles on these topics, an educator's toolkit for easy accessibility and distance learning modules, some of which are free. A perusal of these links provides a host of good quality material and real examples where these topics have been effectively amalgamated with other research disciplines.
Pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research has altered the culture of clinical practice and health care research by changing how we assess the end results of health care services. In doing so, it has provided the foundation for measuring the quality of care. Applications of these methods to clinical trials and for healthcare decision making in order to monitor and improve quality have immense possibilities. The website is an excellent resource not only for the uninitiated but also for people interested in broadening their horizon in terms of applying pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research to their area of work.
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