HP4E5E Half Unit
Economics of the Pharmaceutical Sector
This information is for the 2021/22 session.
Dr Panagiotis Kanavos COW 1.05
This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Health Economics and Policy (LSE and Chicago). This course is not available as an outside option.
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the economics of pharmaceutical sector and related policies and practices that affect national and international markets.
- To provide students with an understanding of basic features of pharmaceutical markets, how pharmaceutical markets work and how competition manifests itself in different parts of pharmaceutical markets.
- To illustrate to students how the pharmaceutical market is linked to the health care market, why it is often the focus of much regulation, and to help students understand the multidimensional goals of pharmaceutical policies.
- To introduce students to the economic and policy problems encountered in managing pharmaceutical markets and how to evaluate the impact of alternative policy approaches. The course will also give students some experience in critically evaluating the impact of policy on market outcomes.
- To facilitate consideration of various country-specific political, cultural and economic factors that may drive governments' approaches to pharmaceutical regulation. In this context, this course will help students consider the extent to which policies may be transferable.
- To enable students to analyse pharmaceutical markets from the perspectives of several main actors: governments, third party payers, the pharmaceutical industry, doctors, patients, pharmacists and wholesalers. Literature from Health Economics, Industrial Organisation and Health Policy will be incorporated into lectures, discussions and seminars.
- To introduce students to the economics of pricing and reimbursing pharmaceutical products, to explore different models of pricing and reimbursing medicines in OECD countries, including rate of return regulation, value-based pricing, cost-plus pricing, external price referencing and internal reference pricing, among others.
- To introduce students to the principles of Health Technology Assessment (HTA), its implementation across settings, the link between HTA and decision-making as well as the similarities and differences in HTA coverage recommendations and the reasons for these, based on a methodological framework developed and applied specifically for this purpose.
This course will be delivered online over a period of five weeks in Lent Term. The course will be delivered as a combination of lectures and seminars, totalling a minimum of 25 hours. Students will have access to lecture material delivered as short online videos. Seminars will take place online and students will work in small groups on structured learning activities set by the course lead.
Formative coursework will comprise a 750 word essay outline to be submitted at the end of the course.
Essay questions will mirror the type of question students will have to develop for their summative assessment.
• P Kanavos, Impact and Costs of Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology; in R.M.Scheffler (ed). Handbook of Global Health Economics and Public Policy, World Scientific, pp. 107-188; 2016.
• P Kanavos , Measuring performance in off-patent drug markets: A methodological framework and empirical evidence from 12 EU Member States. Health Policy, 118(2); 229-241, 2104.
• E Mossialos, M Mrazek & T Walley (eds), Regulating Pharmaceuticals in Europe. Striving for Efficiency, Equity and Quality, Buckingham, Open University Press (2004);
• S O Schweitzer, Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy, Oxford University Press (2006);
• W S Comanor, 'The Political Economy of the Pharmaceutical Industry', Journal of Economic Literature, XXIV (September): 1178-1217 (1986);
• F M Scherer 'The Pharmaceutical Industry', Chapter 25, in: A J Culyer & J P Newhouse (Eds), Handbook of Health Economics, Vol 1, Amsterdam, Oxford, Elsevier, 2000.
Essay (80%, 3000 words) and continuous assessment (20%) in the LT.
Course selection videos
Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Department: Health Policy
Total students 2020/21: Unavailable
Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable
Controlled access 2020/21: No
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Application of numeracy skills
- Commercial awareness
- Specialist skills