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Pharmacoepidemiology: Drug Utilization

3rd term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Synchronous Online with Some Asynchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Caleb Alexander
Frequency Schedule:
Every Other Year
Next Offered:
2023 - 2024

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses.


Drug utilization research forms a core backbone of the field of pharmacoepidemiology. This is because the determinants of the utilization of prescription drugs are complex and multifactorial; understanding how, why, when and where drugs are used is crucial to inform regulatory and payment policy as well as clinical practice.

Provides an overview of drug classification systems as well as a review of data sources used for drug utilization research. Reviews methods of investigating drug utilization and evaluating interventions to modify utilization, such as time-series designs and segmented regression analyses. Discusses varied patient, provider, practice and system-level determinants of prescription drug utilization, including their impact on costs and quality of care. Emphasizes the impact of drug formularies, marketing and promotion of drugs, health insurance exchanges, and emerging evidence of benefits and harms.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge to a critical discourse demonstrating intermediate/advanced knowledge of the determinants of drug utilization, including the effect of marketing and promotion, pharmaceutical regulation, and payment policies.
  2. Critically evaluate studies that examine drug utilization through a firm understanding of analytic approaches of such studies as well as the numerous determinants and predictors of utilization.
  3. Create rigorous evaluations of drug utilization by employing knowledge of drug taxonomies, data sources, data interpretation, and implications for public policy and clinical care.
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 10% Participation
  • 80% Assignments
  • 10% Mock Hearing

Instructor Consent:

No consent required