Course catalogue doctoral education - VT24

  • Application can be done between 2023-10-16 and 2023-11-15
Application closed
Title Basic Pharmacoepidemiology and Critical Review of Pharmacoepidemiological Scientific Literature In a Global Context
Course number 5695
Programme Biology of infection and global health (BIGH)
Language English
Credits 3.0
Date 2023-09-25 -- 2023-10-06
Responsible KI department Department of Global Public Health
Specific entry requirements
Purpose of the course The purpose of the course is that the participants should gain basic knowledge about different study designs used in pharmacoepidemiological studies. The participants should further gain basic knowledge about how to design, conduct, analyse, interpret and report pharmacoepidemiological studies as well as treatment effects and adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals. The participants should also gain knowledge about determinants of drug use in countries at various income levels. The course will qualify the participants to critically review and evaluate pharmacoepidemiological studies.
Intended learning outcomes At the end of the course the student should be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of basic concepts in pharmacoepidemiology and its relevance for public health and for health policy making
- Discuss common study designs and methods used in pharmacoepidemiological studies, including clinical trials
- Explain the applications of these methods for studies of effects and adverse effects of drugs and economic consequences
- Describe different types of data sources on drug exposure and explain their strengths and weaknesses
- Describe systems for the reporting of adverse effects and explain their use for pharmacoepidemiological studies
- Explain design of and methods to evaluate interventions qualitatively and quantitatively
- Independently evaluate pharmacoepidemiological studies from scientific literature
Contents of the course The course will provide an introduction to what pharmacoepidemiology is, how pharmacoepidemiological studies are conducted, how to interpret pharmacoepidemiological findings, and the relevance of pharmacoepidemiology for public health and for health policy making. The participants will be introduced to basic concepts in pharmacoepidemiology and drug statistics methodolody (the ATC/DDD system). Choice of study design and common pitfalls in pharmacoepidemiological research will be discussed. Determinants of drug use such as health systems, policies, prescriber and patient factors in various contexts (low-, middle- and high-income countries) will be explored. Methods to improve use of drugs will be presented, including the role of guidelines and various kinds of information or educational interventions directed to health care professionals, patients or the public. Ways of evaluating such interventions will be presented and discussed. Clinical trial designs, including ways to design and report these, will be discussed. The role of pharmacoepidemiological studies in pharmacovigilance (drug safety) will also be discussed.
Teaching and learning activities The course will use KI:s learning platform Canvas. Learning activities include lectures, seminars, individual work and group work.
Compulsory elements It is compulsory to attend seminars and to participate in individual work and group work. Absence will have to be compensated by extra individual assignments provided by the course organizers.
Examination Individual oral and written presentation of group work. Each student will be assessed individually.
Literature and other teaching material Recommended reading:
1. Strom BL, Kimmel SE, Hennessy S. Pharmacoepidemiology. 5th edition, Wiley, 2012 (selected parts according to individual needs and as recommended during the course) (e-book available)

2. Elseviers M, Wettermark B, Almarsdottir AB et al. Drug Utilization Research: Methods and Applications. 1st edition , Wiley, 2016

3. World Health Organization. Introduction to Drug Utilization Research. 2003. Available from:;jsessionid=94C5461F6BAE0904ACD443E0AE6163DA?sequence=1

Current scientific articles will be recommended throughout the course.
Number of students 8 - 25
Selection of students Selection will be based on 1) the relevance of the course syllabus for the applicant's doctoral project (according to written motivation), 2) start date of doctoral studies (priority given to earlier start date)
More information Face-to-face course held at Solna campus (Winderströmska huset). Online participation might be possible for students that cannot travel to Sweden.
Additional course leader
Latest course evaluation Not available
Course responsible Jaran Eriksen
Department of Global Public Health
Contact person -