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International Pharmacoeconomics, Health Economics and Market Strategies for Healthcare Products: Master Thesis Oral Presentation

It is an important day in the calendar of our master students. The senior cohort returns to campus at the end of the academic year. This is the culmination of all the work they have done in their second and final year. For the academic staff and examiners, it is a day to evaluate and assess each candidate. For the junior cohort, it is a day to watch, listen, ask a question or two and learn. And for everybody it is an opportunity to meet, network and share experiences. It was, the day for the Master thesis oral presentation. The junior cohort is at the end of the first year. They have learnt a lot: economic theory, scarcity, cost containment, resource allocation, outcomes research, economic evaluation, health technology assessment, pharmacoeconomics and decision analytic modelling. These are just some of the many health economic ideas and concepts the students have been taught. And yet they realise and appreciate that their senior counterparts have had an extra year in addition to that. They have had a chance to apply or witness some of these ideas in practice. So for the junior cohort the oral presentations represent an introduction into the practice of pharmacoeconomics and health economics and a platform to gain an insight into what is required to deliver a successful thesis. In all, nine candidates present their theses in an open forum with an additional candidate doing so confidentially. Candidates are allocated 20 minutes each for their presentation after which there is a brief question and answer session. The candidates cover various subject areas from the ‘Evaluation of the STDA-DNA-STATIN test and its impact of statin patients’ by Carolin Claus to ‘Concordance of HTA recommendations across Europe: A comparative analysis of decisions by IQWIG, HAS NICE, SMC, and ZIN on Diabetic, Oncologic, Hepatitis and Epileptic Pharmaceutical Products’ by Issifu Abugri. Many of the presentations are well thought out, succinct, clearly laid out and informative. The students take away several lessons from this experience. It is very important to be well prepared not only for the primary subject matter of your thesis but also relevant information around your chosen subject. You have to strive to deliver your presentation within the allocated time. Study design is a critical aspect of the thesis coupled with judicious use of appropriate statistical tools where required. It is also essential that key terms be used appropriately. Above all it is vital to rehearse your work thoroughly before presentation day. So at the end of this day their respective academic years draw to a close. For one cohort it is hopefully the beginning of successful careers. And for the other cohort, a time to plan, research and work towards their own thesis presentations approximately 12 months from now.

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