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QU pharmacy graduate conducts study on health economics

Thursday، 24 June 2021 08:05 PM

Eilan Alhersh, a MSc graduate of Qatar University's College of Pharmacy (QU-CPH) completed and defended her Master of Pharmacy (MSc) thesis recently, under the title ‘Cost-effectiveness analysis of high versus low dose caffeine for treatment of apnea in neonatal intensive care unit’.

The research study is the first health economics analysis, nationally and internationally, to evaluate the cost-effectiveness between different dosage regimens of caffeine for the treatment of apnea in premature neonates in Qatar.

It was conducted from the perspective of Women Wellness and Research Center, member of the main healthcare provider in Qatar, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

Apnea, which is the cessation of breathing, is most commonly treated with caffeine.

According to the guidelines, the maintenance caffeine dose should be 10mg/kg, which can be intravenous or oral. However, there have been an increasing number of reports in the literature in favour of the use of higher doses of caffeine, suggesting better clinical outcomes. This, however, can be associated with increased hospitalisation and adverse drug events.

Eilan said, “I am happy with the methods I used for the evaluation. This was a simulation-based evaluation, where the use of caffeine and its consequences was studied in a hypothetical cohort of neonates over the stay of the babies in the intensive care unit. Clinical inputs of the simulation were obtained from published studies in the literature, while the cost data inputs were based on HMC".

Eilan added, “The study demonstrated that over the hospital stay duration, high dose caffeine was between dominant and cost-effective in 98.5% of simulated cases. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of the study results against model input uncertainties”.

Eilan also added, “The mentorship I received in the area of pharmacoeconomics is particularly satisfying. The project was multi-skills and multidisciplinary based. My understanding of the topic and research methods, my communication and writing skills and my presentation skills all improved. I was able to publish articles and present my research at international events as well”.

QU-CPH Associate Professor of Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Dr Daoud al-Badriyeh, said, “Eilan worked very hard and was able to complete the minimum required duration of the programme. Eilan loves the area of her research, and her resolution to succeed is impressive and will surely take her places”.

He added: “The research has already been in collaboration with HMC, with conclusions to be shared at the different levels of decision making in there. Much cost-savings can be obtained per patient”.

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