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U.S. Pharmaceutical Policy

East Baltimore
4th term
Health Policy and Management
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • M W,  3:30 - 4:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Mariana Socal

It is estimated that nearly 3 out of 5 Americans take prescription drugs on a regular basis. The number of individuals taking prescription drugs has been on the rise in recent decades, as is the number of drugs taken per person. These trends are expected to persist, largely due to the aging of the American population and the growing prevalence of conditions such as obesity and cardiovascular disease, whose treatments depend largely on pharmaceuticals.

Examines the pharmaceutical market and addresses the core issues related to pharmaceutical policy within the US health care system, such as drug pricing, regulation, and financing, drug coverage decisions, and ethical aspects of drug regulation. Considers the role of multiple health care system actors involved in and affected by pharmaceutical policy: drug manufacturers, drug regulation agencies, insurers, pharmaceutical benefits managers, health care providers, patients, families, and others. Provides an in-depth analysis of drug pricing strategies, coverage decisions, and access and affordability issues.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Identify the role of the multiple actors involved in the US pharmaceutical market
  2. Explain how each actor in the market influences and is affected by pharmaceutical policies
  3. Differentiate between regulations for off-patent and patented pharmaceutical products
  4. Explain how pharmaceuticals are priced and financed in the US health care system
  5. Analyze pros and cons of alternative pharmaceutical pricing policies
  6. Propose and employ criteria to evaluate pharmaceutical policy options
Methods of Assessment:

in-class exercises 25%, quiz 25%, policy paper 50%.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required