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Unit of study_

BETH5209: Medicines Policy, Economics and Ethics

Medicines save lives but they can be costly and can have serious adverse effects. Value-laden decisions are continuously being made at individual, institutional, national and international levels regarding the medicines we need, want and can afford. In this unit of study, we will explore and critique global and national policies and processes related to medicines, examining how research and development agendas are set; how medicines are assessed and evaluated; and how new technologies are translated into practice. We will also explore broader trends such as globalisation, commercialisation and changing consumer expectations. By the end of the course, students will understand the forces shaping the development, regulation, funding and uptake of medicines both nationally and internationally, and the political, ethical, legal and economic issues that are at stake. This course is designed to appeal to a wide range of students from ethics, law, public health, health care, policy, communications, economics, business, politics, administration, and biomedical science.

Code BETH5209
Academic unit Public Health
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge:
A degree in science, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, allied health, philosophy/ethics, sociology/anthropology, history, law, communications, public policy, business, economics, commerce, organisation studies, or other relevant field, or by special permission

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand the forces shaping the development, regulation, funding, uptake and use of medicines, both nationally and internationally
  • LO2. use your reasoning skills and insights from a variety of disciplines to engage in debate about the politics, ethics and economics of the development, regulation, funding, uptake and use of medicines
  • LO3. critique current and proposed medicines policies

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.