Pharmacoeconomics and therapeutic drug monitoring.
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The ever increasing rate of inflation and the reality that resources for medical care are limited has led to significant changes in the reimbursement for health care services. These influences have convinced health care policy makers to closely evaluate innovative health services in terms of the benefits and costs. New pharmaceutical services must be economically justified in order to exist in the future. This is crucial to the expansion and adoption of pharmaceutical services.
Application of economic evaluations is not new to the health care sector. Until recently, there were no incentives to transfer this interest into widespread use. As health care expenditures have escalated over the past two decades, the number of applications of these techniques has increased. Especially significant are cost‐benefit and cost‐effectiveness evaluations of medical practice, pharmaceuticals, and other health care technologies.
Pharmacoeconomic analysis is an important tool to assist in the evaluation of new pharmaceutical services and technologies. Essentially, economic analytical methods are used to weigh the positive and negative consequences of alternative courses of action. The usefulness of pharmacoeconomic analyses is in resource allocation, with the purpose of achieving the highest return on investment or accomplishing a given objective in the least costly manner. Unfortunately, very few pharmacy programs have been evaluated using pharmacoeconomic techniques. The purpose of this article is to present various methods to assess the economic value of therapeutic drug monitoring services in society and for specific patient populations. Additionally, this article will review the previous attempts and various issues surrounding the economic justification of therapeutic drug monitoring.
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