Pharmacoeconomic Fellowships: The Need for Outcome Measures
Tammy K. Girts
Jennifer H. Lofland
David B. Nash
Pharmacoeconomic fellowship programmes have been in existence for more than 10 years, but their effectiveness has not been evaluated. The aim of this project was to construct a framework to examine the potential outcome measures for pharmacoeconomic fellowships so that the effectiveness of these programmes may be determined. Using the Donabedian model, the structures, processes, and outcomes of pharmacoeconomic fellowship programmes were investigated. The structures of these programmes include the facilities, qualifications of the teaching staff and organisation, and operations of the institution. Most pharmacoeconomic fellowships are based in academic institutions and the pharmaceutical industry. Credentials of the preceptors and teaching staff consist of an advanced degree and relevant expertise in pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research. The processes of pharmacoeconomic fellowships include the duration of the programme as well as the research skills and the educational components taught. However, current guidelines do not define outcome measures for these pharmacoeconomic fellowships. Potential outcomes may include whether or not a degree was obtained, the management and research skills acquired, as well as the type of experiential training received. Further research is required to develop these outcome measures, so the effectiveness of pharmacoeconomic fellowship programmes may be assessed.
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