Apr 30 2012
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Move under way to set up pharmacoeconomics center
On behalf of Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, Deputy Minister of Health for Logistics Support Salah Al-Mazrou made this announcement at the second Saudi International Pharmacoeconomics Conference "Better Analysis For Better Healthcare Decisions in KSA", held at the King Faisal Conference Hall yesterday.
Pharmacoeconomics is the scientific discipline that compares the value of one pharmaceutical drug or drug therapy to another. It is a sub-discipline of health economics.
Speaking further, Al-Mazrou pointed out that his ministry had already released a formulary and this proposed center would be a follow-up to that.
Conference Chairman Khalid Al-Raddadi said the announcement of the establishment of the pharmacoeconomics and outcome research center is good news to all medics. "Such a center has been the primary aim of our conference," he noted.
He said the delegates of the conference would exchange a series of practical research experiences, discuss commonly encountered obstacles in conducting or utilizing the result of the pharmacoeconomics studies and explore solutions from various perspectives.
"We want to create an environment and foundation to foster the creation of a Saudi Arabia Pharmacoeconomics and Outcome Research interest group. At the meeting we will discuss national guidelines for the economic evaluation on pharmaceuticals and how to establish the pharmacoeconomics center, to control the spending on drugs and achieve savings in health cost by monitoring."
The conference is co-sponsored by International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), Saudi Arabian chapter and the Ministry of Health.
ISPOR promotes the science of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research (the scientific discipline that evaluates the effect of health care interventions on patient's well-being, including clinical, economic, and patient-centered outcomes). It also facilitates the translation of this research into useful information for health care decision-makers to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care to improve health.
In Saudi Arabia, the health care expenditure is growing for demographic and policy reasons. The drivers that dramatically increase health care demand and expenditure include a high population growth with a rising share in the ageing population, unique health risk factors and the introduction of progressive policies such as compulsory health insurance coverage for expatriate workers.
It was suggested at the conference that the Kingdom should review its current policies on curbing the rising expenditure of pharmaceuticals and achieving the ultimate goal of cost containment. It was felt that there is room for the government to expand the existing evidence-based medicine practice to include the pharmacoeconomic approach to save a substantial amount of money.
© Arab News 2012
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