Course Description

The evaluation of research, particularly biomedical research, has entered a period of intense demand for rigorous methods and actionable results, including economic analyses. Several years ago, the NIH convened an expert external panel to consider the broad area of assessing the value of biomedical research. The panel put forward an overarching assessment and measurement framework that included healthcare costs as an output and healthcare-related costs savings as an outcome. Challenges and opportunities exist in meeting this demand. Two distinct perspectives are important: one is the perspective of a grantee or principal investigator who uses economic variables to establish the need and predicted outcomes for basic or applied research for specific observed health conditions, as well as the efficiency and costs of the research; the other perspective is that of the science policy in which the grantor has the need to establish research priorities and evaluate research program efficiency and costs. In this introductory class, students will learn the foundations of health economics and econometric modeling and will apply them to the evaluation of biomedical research and public health programs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop economic perspectives of health and healthcare
  • Distinguish among different types of cost studies in regard to applications, methods, and utility
  • Explore regression analysis as a major econometric tool
  • Develop a working knowledge of the evaluation hierarchy
  • Apply knowledge gained to economic evaluation of publicly funded research and health programs
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