• Length:
    8 Weeks
  • Effort:
    2–5 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
    Add a Verified Certificate for $99 USD

  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Introductory
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English

Prerequisites

None

About this course

Prescription drugs are among the most common health care interventions and have turned some once-fatal diseases into manageable conditions — but they have also been a growing source of controversy. Patients in the US struggle with increasing costs and express concerns about why many conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, remain without adequate therapeutic options.

At the center of these debates lies the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal agency responsible for monitoring the prescription drug marketplace and enforcing basic rules and laws that affect how prescription drugs are discovered, developed, and sold.

This course investigates the major issues affecting the regulatory approval and evidence-based use of prescription drugs. You will learn the rules and regulations governing the pricing, marketing, and safety monitoring of approved prescription drugs and the importance of the FDA in regulating key aspects of the pharmaceutical market.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)
Medical professionals who enroll in the verified track and successfully complete Module 2: Drug Development and Approval can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ (2 credits).

What you'll learn

  • Key controversies over how prescription drugs are developed and marketed, and why those controversies exist
  • The FDA — its history, public health role, and rules affecting prescription drugs in the US
  • The process of discovering, testing, and approving innovative drugs, including various perspectives on the criteria used for drug approval
  • The cost of prescription drugs, including the factors affecting a drug’s market exclusivity period and the availability and use of affordable generic drugs
  • Safety evaluation of prescription drugs using “real world” data
  • Current topics stirring debate over the scope of FDA regulation, such as dietary supplements, special classes of prescription drugs, and “right to try” laws that allow patients to obtain drugs prior to FDA approval
  • Prescription drug marketing rules and the effect of drug promotion on the behavior of physicians and patients
  • Module 1: Overview and history of the FDA
  • Module 2: Drug development and approval
  • Module 3: Drug pricing in the United States
  • Module 4: Marketing strategies
  • Module 5: Post-approval evaluation
  • Module 6: Emerging medical technologies

Meet your instructors

Aaron Kesselheim
Professor of Medicine, Director of the Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard University
Jonathan Darrow
Instructor in Medicine, Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard University
Ameet Sarpatwari
Instructor in Medicine, Assistant Director of the Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard University

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