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Post - market drug evaluation, curriculum, pharmacoepidemiology, education, drug safety, regulation
Ongoing efforts by Health Canada intended to modernize the legislation and regulation of pharmaceuticals will help improve the safety and effectiveness of drug products. It will be imperative to ensure that comprehensive and specialized training sites are available to train researchers to support the regulation of therapeutic products.
The objective of this educational institution inventory was to conduct an environmental scan of educational institutions in Canada able to train students in areas of post-market drug evaluation research.
A systematic web-based environmental scan of Canadian institutions was conducted. The website of each university was examined for potential academic programs. Six core programmatic areas were determined a priori as necessary to train competent post-market drug evaluation researchers. These included biostatistics, epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, health economics or pharmacoeconomics, pharmacogenetics or pharmacogenomics and patient safety/pharmacovigilance.
Twenty - three academic institutions were identified that had the potential to train students in post-market drug evaluation research. Overall, 23 institutions taught courses in epidemiology, 22 in biostatistics, 17 in health economics/pharmacoeconomics, 5 in pharmacoepidemiology, 5 in pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics, and 3 in patient safety/pharmacovigilance. Of the 23 institutions, only the University of Ottawa offered six core courses. Two institutions offered five, seven offered four and the remaining 14 offered three or fewer. It is clear that some institutions may offer programs not entirely reflected in the nomenclature used for this review.
As Heath Canada moves towards a more progressive licensing framework, augment ed training to increase research capacity and expertise in drug safety and effectiveness is timely and necessary.
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