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Pharmacoeconomics or pharmaceutical economics refers to the scientific discipline that compares the value of one pharmaceutical drug or drug therapy to another. It is a sub-discipline of Health economics. A pharmacoeconomic study evaluates the cost (expressed in monetary terms) and effects (expressed in terms of monetary value, efficacy or enhanced quality of life) of a pharmaceutical product. We can distinguish several types of pharmacoeconomic evaluation:cost-minimization analysis, cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis and cost-utility analysis. Pharmacoeconomic studies serve to guide optimal healthcare resource allocation, in a standardized and scientifically grounded manner.

One important consideration in a pharmacoeconomic evaluation is to decide the perspective from which the analysis should be conducted (such as institutional or societal).

A complete compilation of cost-utility analyses in the peer reviewed medical literature is available at the The CEA Registry Website.

Academic resources

  • PharmacoEconomics, ISSN 1170-7690, Adis International
  • Value in Health, ISSN: 1524-4733 (internet), 1098-3015 (print), Blackwell Publishing

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