Main Article Content

Matthew O. Wiens
Judith A. Soon
Stuart M. MacLeod
Sunaina Sharma
Anik Patel


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.

Abstract 136 | PDF Downloads 47


1. Yeates N, Lee DK, Maher M. Health Canada’s Progressive Licensing Framework. Can Med Assoc J 2007;176:1845 - 7.
2. Parliament of Canada. Bill C - 51: An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. l=39&Ses=2&source=library_prb
3. Parliament of Canada. Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act (Vanessa's Law), Amendments to the Food and Drugs Act (Bill C - 17)h ttp:// 6418 (Accessed October 15, 2014)
4. Soon JA, MacLeod SM, Sharma S, Wiens MO. Human resource and educational inventories to support the life cycle approach to the regulation of therapeutic products. Health Canada Publication ISBN: 978 - 1 - 100 - 18638 - 2. http://www.hc - - asc/pubs/hpfb - dgpsa/reshum - eng.php (April 15, 2014)
5. Maclean's. Guide to Canadian Universities 2013. Medical doctoral university ranking. 013 - medical - doctoral/ (April 15, 2014)
6. Canadian Institute for Health Information. Drug expenditure in Canada, 1985 - 2012. diture_2013_EN.pdf (April 1, 2014)
7. Health Council of Canada. Keeping an eye on prescription drugs, keeping Canadians safe. Active monitoring systems for drug safety and effectiveness in Canada and internationally. Wiktorowicz M, Lexchin J, Moscou K, Silversides A, Eggertson L. (November 2010) ht tp:// - DSE_ES_EN_Nov2010.pdf (April 15, 2014)
8. Drug Safety and Effectiveness Cross-Disciplinary Training (DSECT) Program. %20Program%20Flyer%20Nov%2012.pdf (April 1, 2014)
9. Murray M D. Curricular considerations for pharmaceutical comparative effectiveness research. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Safety 2011;20:797 - 804.
10. Reddy M, Rascati K, Wahawisan J, Rascati M. Pharmacoeconomic education in US colleges and schools of pharmacy: An update. Am J Pharm Ed 2008;72:51.
11. Nwokeji ED, Rascati KL, Moczygemba LR, Wilson JP. Pharmacoepidemiology education in US colleges and schools of pharmacy. Am J Pharm Educ 2007;71: 80.