According to the American Association of College of Pharmacy leadership, quality faculty members are needed in all areas of academic pharmacy. The pharmaceutical industry has increased their recruitment of social and administrative scientists, leaving a greater demand in academia for social-administrative scientists. The Research and Graduate Affairs Committee of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy indicated that that there will be an increased need for research in pharmacoeconomics, patient health-care outcomes and pharmacoepidemiology, and for graduates in these fields.
With the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, government payers will be increasingly responsible for providing access to prescription drugs. Medicare, Medicaid, VA, Federal Employees, Department of Defenses, State Employees, and other public payers will require trained persons to assess the value of prescription drugs and to develop efficient and equitable benefit designs and policies. The Arkansas Medicaid program is facing budget shortfalls and they are currently exploring new ways to stabilize the growth of prescription expenditures while providing the necessary drugs to the most vulnerable of populations in the state. Research is needed to address the impact of new policy initiatives and the value of pharmacy services at both state and national levels.
Health Insurers, Purchasers, Providers, and Managed Care Organizations
Managed care organizations, health system providers, and pharmacy benefit managers will be challenged with selecting the best drug products for a given patient group balancing the cost and quality of each drug. They will continually look for new interventions (e.g., disease state management) and financing arrangements to improve quality while controlling costs. Employers and other purchasers of health care and pharmaceuticals will also rely on consultants and other experts to facilitate decision making with respect to benefit design and pharmacy services. QualChoice and BlueCross and BlueShield of Arkansas are also experimenting with new ways to efficiently administer and coordinate benefits which will require persons trained to evaluate and design these new efforts.
The pharmaceutical industry and contract research organizations (CROs) have an ongoing need for trained scientists with skills in pharmacoeconomics and pharmacoepidemiology. As the pharmaceutical industry continues to develop new products and services, it will be important for them to determine the value of these new products and services. Burden of illness, cost-effectiveness, return-on-investment, and patient-report outcome studies will be needed by the pharmaceutical industry.