Clinical Economics

10 Units

Economics considers how best to use our limited resources to satisfy our unlimited wants and needs. Clinical economics explores the methods used in economic evaluation to compare the costs and consequences (or benefits) of two or more health care technologies, such as pharmaceuticals. Using a practical approach, the course covers: * the different types of economic evaluation and when each is appropriate; * which costs are appropriate to include in an economic evaluation, and how to measure and value them; * how to identify, measure and value the health benefits associated with an intervention (including valuing quality of life, or utility); * how economic evaluation can, and is used to, inform decisions, such as whether to subsidise a new pharmaceutical or other health care intervention; * how to critically appraise a published economic evaluation; * an introduction to modelling in economic evaluation, including decision analysis and Markov modelling; and * how uncertainty in economic evaluation is handled and how to undertake a sensitivity analysis.

Faculty Faculty of Health and Medicine
School School of Medicine and Public Health
Availability Semester 2 - 2014 (WebLearn GradSchool)

On completion of this subject students will:

  • be familiar with key economic concepts and understand their relevance to health care;
  • be familiar with the different methods used to derive health-related quality of life (or utilities), having calculated utilities using time-trade-off, standard gamble and EuroQol instruments;
  • be familiar with the different ways in which a monetary value may be placed on a health gain and be able to assess the advantages and disadvantages of cost benefit analysis;
  • be able to perform a straightforward economic evaluation by:

  • identifying the appropriate type of economic evaluation;

  • identifying, measuring and valuing costs and consequences and applying discounting if needed;
  • calculating an incremental cost effectiveness ratio (if appropriate); and
  • appropriately interpreting the results of the economic evaluation.

  • be familiar with the different ways in which uncertainty may be handled in economic evaluation and be able to perform a simple sensitivity analysis;

  • understand the need for modelling in economic evaluation and the different modelling approaches, having completed exercises on decision analysis and Markov modelling;
  • understand, and be able to critically appraise, published economic evaluations; and
  • understand how economic evaluation can, and is used to, inform decision making.

Topics are covered in six modules:

  • Module 1 Introduction: Economic Theory and Economic Thinking
  • Module 2 Economic Evaluation: An Overview
  • Module 3 Summary Measures of Efficiency: Calculation and Use
  • Module 4 Costs
  • Module 5 Consequences
  • Module 6 Modelling, Uncertainty and Critical Appraisal
Replacing Course(s) n/a
Transition n/a
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge No prior training in economics is required.
Modes of Delivery Distance Learning : IT Based
Distance Learning : Paper Based
External Mode
Teaching Methods Email Discussion Group
Self Directed Learning
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Two Marked Assignments and one Final Project. MA1 worth 20%, MA2 worth 30% and the Final Project worth 50%. Students must pass the Final Project to pass the course.
Contact Hours
  • Self Directed Learning: for 6 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
  • Email Discussion Group: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components None listed
Course Materials None listed
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for PUBH6260

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