Prescription Drugs, Policy and Public Health
PubH 6390, 3 credits
This course will introduce students to fundamental concepts and issues related to prescription drugs, policy, and public health. The course is designed to walk students through the life cycle of prescription drugs beginning with research and development and ending with the public health impact of drugs – such as prescription drug abuse. The course will review key policies and public health programs related to each stage of a prescription drug’s life cycle, including Congressional funding focused on speeding the development and approval of needed drugs, public and private approaches to increase access to prescription drugs, and exceptions to international laws that allow some countries to violate a prescription drug patent for the sake of improving the health of their impoverished citizens. Throughout this course, students will be asked to critically reflect on evidence based or at least evidence informed innovative approaches to address the public health challenges of prescription drugs and consider the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches with any eye towards eventually answering the challenges. The assignments in the course are primarily “real world” assignments that allow students to express their ideas and thoughts in real world forums beyond the classroom setting. This approach is used in order to challenge students to apply what they are learning in class to real world problems and also for students to see that their thinking can match that of experts in the field.
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