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Iowa City IA 52242
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Release: Immediate

UI expands pharmaceutical socioeconomics graduate program

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Recent years have seen major advances in drug development, including medications that attack HIV, limit damage from strokes or involve cutting-edge genetic research. While these discoveries may improve health, they also raise significant, often difficult, economic and social questions -- from issues of cost to concerns about patient behavior.

A newly expanded program at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy seeks ways to address these questions. The graduate program in pharmaceutical socioeconomics has doubled its faculty in the last two years, offering more opportunities for students and professionals from health care, business and other fields.

"Our goal is to teach good, grounded science and prepare scientists who have a range of options," says John Brooks, a health economist and recent addition to the program faculty. Graduates have gone on to careers in academics, government, insurance -- including managed health care organizations -- and pharmaceutical companies.

Cost-conscious trends in health care have created a growing market for professionals who can analyze the wide implications of pharmaceutical discoveries. Brooks notes that many of the UI program's graduates were weighing job offers even before they completed their degrees.

The program is strong in pharmacoeconomics, or the study of whether a given therapy is cost-effective, and health and organizational behavior. Research by UI faculty and students has looked at methods for measuring the quality of life of cancer patients, the role of trust in patient satisfaction with pharmacy services and the impact of pharmacy closings on patient behavior.

The program offers four areas of concentration: pharmaceutical economics, patient health behavior, pharmaceutical and health policy, and provider and system behavior. Its curriculum aims to provide students with an interdisciplinary background and a range of research methods.

The program awards both master's and doctoral degrees. Application is open to individuals who have completed their undergraduate work or professionals furthering their education. Financial support via teaching assistantships and research assistantships are available. For more information, contact: PSE Graduate Program Director, University of Iowa, S-411 Pharmacy Building, Iowa City, IA 52242, (319)335-8878.