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Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy

Location: Boston
Start Term: Fall, Spring

The graduate program in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy (PEP) offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmaceutical Health Economics and Policy with specialty tracks or concentrations in Health and Pharmacoepidemiology and Health Economics and Outcomes Research. This graduate program offers academic training primarily in the areas of pharmaceutical and health economics and drug and health policy, and also provides related training in outcomes research, regulation, marketing, healthcare administration, pharmacy services research, and pharmacoepidemiology.

The curriculum features advanced didactic and experiential education in the areas of pharmacoeconomic and health policy analysis, pharmacoepidemiologic methods and study designs, advanced biostatistics and database management, health policy and behavioral interventions and their assessment, and the role of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in healthcare and society. The program provides future leaders, educators, and researchers with the knowledge required to enhance access for patient populations to cost-effective pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices, and related health services, thus improving the efficiency of the pharmaceutical sector and healthcare systems. Graduates will be prepared for careers in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries; hospitals and other institutional healthcare organizations; managed care organizations; pharmacy benefits management; contract research organizations; consulting firms; governments; international organizations; nongovernmental organizations; and academic institutions, among other organizations.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy is designed to train independent researchers who will assume leadership positions in national and international pharmaceutical economics and policy careers, with focus areas in pharmaceutical economics and policy, global drug policy, and pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research.

Upon successful completion of the PhD program in PEP, as with the MS program, a graduate should be able to:

  • Assess the appropriateness of research designs for health care interventions for comparative effectiveness and health economic evaluations
  • Understand and interpret the results of statistical, epidemiologic and health economic analyses/evaluations
  • Assist pharmaceutical companies, payers or their consultants through accurate and complete reviews of appropriate clinical and economic literature
  • Assist pharmaceutical companies, payers or their consultants in the design of plans for assessing and documenting a product’s comparative clinical and economic value

In addition to the MS Program Objectives above, a graduate of the PhD program should be able to work independently in:

  • Assist pharmaceutical companies, payers or their consultants in the design and analysis of studies for assessing and documenting a product’s comparative clinical and economic value
  • Be capable of writing up and publishing comparative effectiveness and/or health economic evaluation analyses
  • Be able to thoroughly review, assess and critique comparative effectiveness and/or health economic evaluations as a manuscript reviewer and/or as an author of comparative value assessment reports
  • Have sufficient expertise in one of more areas of epidemiology, comparative effectiveness or health economic evaluation to be able to teach these subjects at the college or university level.
  • PharmD or an earned master’s degree or higher degree in a related area (e.g., economics, sociology, or statistics), or a professional degree in medicine, dentistry, nursing, public health, or healthcare administration from an accredited college or university. Students currently enrolled in the PEP Master of Science Thesis degree program may apply to the PhD program after they complete their MS program
  • TOEFL or IELTS, required of all applicants for whom English is not the primary spoken language. This test requirement may be waived on an individual basis for applicants who have attended all four years of high school in the United States or have an earned degree (bachelor’s or higher) from a U.S. college or university
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE), General Exam scores must be submitted as part of the Admissions Process

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy - Health and Pharmacoepidemiology Track

Year I-Fall

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 801 Quantitative Methods in PEP 3
PEP 809 Health Epidemiology  3
PEP 802 Introduction to PEP 3
PEP 856.B Introduction to HEOR  3
PEP 870 Graduate Seminar in PEP  1
TOTAL
13

Year I-Spring

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 810 Global Pharmaceutical Policy 3
PEP 804 Regression Analysis in PEP 3
PEP 870 Graduate Seminar in PEP 1
PEP  Elective Application Course  3
TOTAL
10

Year II-Fall

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 856.C Systematic Review & Meta Analysis  3
PEP Elective  3
PEP 806 Pharmacoepidemiology Applications  3
PEP 870 Graduate Seminar in PEP 1
TOTAL
10

Year II-Spring

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 850 Advanced Methods in Epidemiology and Statistics  3
PEP 856.A Intro to SAS Programming  3
PEP 825 Health Services and Outcomes Research  3
PEP 870 Graduate Seminar in PEP 1
TOTAL
10

Year III-Fall

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP Elective 3
PEP 890 PhD Dissertation in Research in PEP  1
TOTAL
4

Year III-Spring

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 890 PhD Dissertation in Research in PEP 1
TOTAL
1

Year IV-Fall

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 890 PhD Dissertation in Research in PEP 1
TOTAL
1

Year IV-Spring

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 890 PhD Dissertation in Research in PEP 1
TOTAL
1

Total credits to complete degree requirements: 50 s.h.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy - Health Economics and Outcomes Research Track

Year I-Fall

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 801 Quantitative Methods in PEP 3
PEP 809 Health Epidemiology 3
PEP 802 Introduction to PEP 3
PEP 856.B Introduction to HEOR 3
PEP 870 Graduate Seminar in PEP 1
TOTAL
13

Year I-Spring

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 810 Global Pharmaceutical Policy 3
PEP 804 Regression Analysis in PEP 3
PEP 870 Graduate Seminar in PEP 1
PEP 814 Healthcare Decision Analysis 3
TOTAL
10

Year II-Fall

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 813 Pharmacoeconomics 3
PEP 820 Market Access Pricing and Reimbursement 3
PEP Elective 3
PEP 870 Graduate Seminar in PEP 1
TOTAL
10

Year II-Spring

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP Elective 3
PEP 825 Health Services and Outcomes Research 3
PEP Elective 3
PEP 870 Graduate Seminar in PEP 1
TOTAL
10

Year III-Fall

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP Elective 3
PEP 890 PhD Dissertation in Research in PEP 1
TOTAL
4

Year III-Spring

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 890 PhD Dissertation in Research in PEP 1
TOTAL
1

Year IV-Fall

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 890 PhD Dissertation in Research in PEP 1
TOTAL
1

Year IV-Spring

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 890 PhD Dissertation in Research in PEP 1
TOTAL
1

Total credits to complete degree requirements: 50 s.h.

Health and Pharmacoepidemiology Track Requirements:

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 856.C Systematic Review & Meta Analysis 3
PEP 856.A Introduction to SAS Programming  3
PEP 825 Health Services and Outcomes Research  3
PEP 850 Advanced Methods in Epidemiology and Statistics  3
PEP 806 Pharmacoepidemiology Applications 3

Health and Pharmacoepidemiology Track Electives:

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 820 Market Access Pricing & Reimbursement 3
PEP 814 Healthcare Decision Analysis 3

Health Economics and Outcomes Research Track Requirements:

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 813 Pharmacoeconomic Applications   3
PEP 814 Healthcare Decision Analysis  3
PEP 825 Health Services and Outcomes Research  3
PEP 820 Market Access Pricing & Reimbursement  3
PEP 856.B Introduction to HEOR 3

Health Economics and Outcomes Research Track Electives:

COURSE TITLE S.H.
PEP 813 Pharmacoepidemiology Applications 3
PEP 856.C Systematic Review and Meta Analysis 3
PEP 850 Advanced Methods in Epidemiology and Statistics 3
PEP 856.A Introduction to SAS Programming  3

PhD Program Electives:

COURSE TITLE S.H.
DRA 802 Law and Health Policy of Drugs and Devices 3
DRA 804 FDA and Regulatory Affairs 3
DRA 808 Laws and Regulations Governing Human Research 3
DRA 811 Health Policy Development & Analysis 3
DRA 815 International Regulatory Affairs 3
PEP 806 Pharmacoepidemiology Applications 3
PEP 811 Pharmaceutical Marketing Applications 3
PEP 812 Healthcare Management Applications 3
PEP 813 Pharmacoeconomic Applications 3
PEP 814 Healthcare Decision Analysis 3
PEP 856.A Programming Using SAS 3
PEP 825 Health Services and Outcomes Research 3
PEP 856.C Systematic Review and Meta Analysis 3
PEP 830 Practicum Pharm Business and Administrative Internships 1
PEP 899 Selected Topics in PEP 1-3
Dissertation Research (Both Programs)  4
  •  Successful completion of a minimum of 50 semester hours at the graduate level, including a minimum of 4 semester hours in dissertation research and a minimum of 15 semester hours in a specialty track or area of concentration. Four semesters of Graduate Seminar are required. A student who has earned an MS degree from another institution or program must complete a minimum of 40 semester hours in addition to the other requirements of the PhD program
  • Maintenance of a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all coursework taken at the University. The minimum grade for passing a course is B.
  • Successful completion of qualifying examinations
  • Presentation of a dissertation that is a contribution of unique knowledge to the discipline and that has been openly defended and approved by the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee
  • Completion of at least one continuous academic year in residence at the University conducting dissertation research
  • Completion of all requirements for the PhD degree within a period of six years

Our students learn from faculty who are leaders in their fields and are committed to the success of each student. Discover our full list of Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy faculty