UW 5141






FALL 2023

Welcome to the 2023/2024 Principles of Health Economics and Outcomes (PHCY 5141): A New Start in Health Technology Assessment online course that is also open, as a 3-credit postgraduate course, to extra-mural students. This course is designed to provide a theoretical and practical foundation for the appropriate methods and application of techniques in health technology assessment (HTA) that meet the standards of normal science and fundamental measurement. Meeting the evidence needs of formulary committees, practitioners, patients, and other health system decision-makers are critical for effective health care delivery and the meaningful assessment of pharmaceutical products and devices.

Unfortunately, current analytical standards in pharmacoeconomics or health technology assessment fail to meet the required evidentiary standards. The misplaced focus on approximate information and assumption-driven simulated modeled claims for cost-effectiveness fails both the standards for normal science and fundamental evidence. It is an analytical dead-end.

This course presents a necessary new start in the assessment of value claims for competing pharmaceutical products and devices. The course comprises an Introduction and  7 modules with references and notes. The first part of the course (Modules 1 to 4) provides a critique of existing standards in HTA together with details of the required standards; the second part (Modules 3 – 7) provide a framework for product formulary submissions and monographs to meet the required standards. This represents a rejection of the current belief system or meme in HTA and the imperative of a transition to a paradigm that support empirical evaluation of value claims with the discovery of new, yet provisional facts. This means that we must reject assumption driven simulations that only support non-empirically evaluable of imaginary claims for cost-effectiveness.  

The course introduces three premises in health technology assessment:

  • All value claims must refer to single attributes that meet the demarcation standards for normal science: claims must be credible, evaluable, and replicable whether they are for clinical claims, patient reported out claims (PROs) or drug and resource utilization
  • All value claims must be consistent with the limitations imposed by the axioms of fundamental measurement where they refer to unidimensional single attributes, with the measure having linear, interval and invariant properties. This is critical in PROs as Rasch is the only technique for transforming ordinal observations to interval measurement, but also the clinical, drug and resource utilization claims
  • All value claims must be accompanied by a protocol detailing how the value claim is to be empirically evaluated and report to health decision makers in a short and meaningful timeframe

The course is designed to meet the needs of health system decision-makers; a framework of analysis that is not only consistent with the standards of normal science and fundamental measurement, but one that focuses on capturing needs-fulfillment quality of life of patients and caregivers. The importance of rejecting non-evaluable assumption-driven modeled value claims for conducting and assessing outcomes research will be emphasized. This provides a firm empirical basis for evaluating long-term clinical outcomes.

A companion Certificate Program which goes more deeply into these issues is also available (see CERTPROG description on this website).  This Certificate program is accredited and provides 20.5 ACPE hours of credit. For those who are not pharmacists in the US, completion of the Program gives a Certificate from the University of Wyoming.


Dr. Paul C. Langley, Temporary Lecturer, School of Pharmacy, University of Wyoming, Laramie WY and Adjunct Professor, College of Pharmacy. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN


The Introduction to the course is open. The modules are only accessible (by password) to those enrolled in the course at the University of Wyoming (including extra-mural students) Click here to access the modules with a password.

For further information on this program for external university credit and for the Certificate Program:

Elliott M Sogol PhD RPh FAPhA
Director Postgraduate and Continuing Education
School of Pharmacy
College Of Health Sciences
University of Wyoming
Email: esogol@uwyo.edu