Graduate Students Present Research at International Pharmacoeconomics Conference in Vienna

Presentations focus on care and quality of life for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, helping elderly individuals with multiple chronic conditions, treating pulmonary complications in patients with hypertension, and evaluating the effectiveness of a pharmacist-led disease management program

Five USC School of Pharmacy graduate students presented their research in Vienna, Austria on Oct. 29 – Nov. 2 at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) 19th Annual European Congress, the world’s largest international gathering of health economists and outcomes researchers.

With presentations focusing a range of topics including care and quality of life for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the USC doctoral students joined more than 5,000 attendees from over 100 countries in sharing health economics and outcomes research to improve decision making for health globally.

“Attending ISPOR is always a rewarding and inspiring experience to me,” said Xiaohan Hu, doctoral fellow in Health Economics who flew from Los Angeles to Vienna to attend her third ISPOR meeting, with the support of travel grants from the School and ISPOR. Xiaohan presented work that she had completed prior to joining USC which is a testament to the high quality of new students attracted to the USC Health Economics graduate program.

“The most valuable aspect of my experience at this ISPOR is the feedback and comments I received during and after my podium presentation on caregiver burden of Alzheimer’s disease. The feedback from the audience is quite thought-provoking and helpful in improving the quality of the entire study.”

Hu’s presentations were “Burden and Work Productivity Loss Impairment from Providing Care to Alzheimer’s Disease Patients”; “Quality of Life of Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease – a Comparison with General Population”; “Comparison of Informal Caregiving Time required by Alzheimer’s Disease Patients and Mild Cognitive Impairment Patients”; “Economic and Humanistic Benefits of Maintaining Cognitive Impairment Patients in the Early Stage.”

Hu was selected as recipient of a prestigious ISPOR Research Presentation Podium Award for her presentation, “Burden and Work Productivity Loss Impairment from Providing Care to Alzheimer’s Disease Patients.”

In addition to Hu, other graduate students and their presentations included:

  • Yifan Xu, “Generic Drug Utilization Among the Elderly with Multiple Chronic Conditions”
  • Zifan (Simona) Zhou, “Evaluating Effectiveness and Persistency of a Pharmacist-Led Disease Management Program” (with contributing author Geoffrey Joyce, PhD)
  • Maira Soto and Soo In Bang, “The Effect of RAS-Modifying Medications on Pulmonary Complications in Patients with Hypertension” (with Jeffrey McCombs, PhD and Kathy Rodgers, PhD as contributing authors)

The presentation by graduate students Soto and Bang is the result of a growing collaboration between bench scientists at the School of Pharmacy and its faculty in pharmaceutical economics, which has focused on using ‘Big Data’ to test whether or not older compounds may have new clinical benefits.

With more than 20,000 individual and chapter members, ISPOR is recognized globally as the leading educational and scientific organization for health economics and outcomes research and its use in health care decisions.

The  ISPOR 19th Annual European Congress, held in Vienna, Austria Oct. 29 – Nov. 2 (“Managing Access to Medical Innovation: Strengthening the Methodology-Policy Nexus”) centered on more extensive use of health technology assessment in country-level decision making. It featured nearly 2,500 research presentations in the form of workshops, issue panels, forums, symposia, and podium and poster presentations.