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Cursus: GEO3-2266
Sustainability, Health and Innovation
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (EC)7,5
Please note: the information in the course manual is binding.
After completion of the course, the student is able to:
  • describe,  interpret, and critically reflect the mutual relation between sustainability and health, focusing on present-day sustainable healthcare topics and taking the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into account;
  • analyze the current deficits in the innovation system of medicines and medical technology development;
  • analyze potential solution directions to the weaknesses in the current health innovation system;
  • evaluate  conditions for  sustainable drug development.
  • integrate reforms of various sub-systems in medical technology development;
  • design an alternative business model for sustainable medical technology development.
  1. Health and sustainability, health and climate change, health and development, international health policy, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  2. Rise and fall of the pharmaceutical industry;
  3. Marketing of drugs and medical technology (marketing to professionals, direct and indirect marketing to consumers);
  4. Regulation of drugs, diagnostics and medical technology, e.g. market authorization,  reimbursement, pharmacovigilance, professional guidelines, specific regulation for e.g. orphan drugs and WHO essential drugs;
  5. Patents, IP issues and drugs/diagnostics/medical technology; patents and innovation, patents as strategic tool, patents and ethics, equal access to medicines;
  6. The role of the academic world in drugs/medical technology development: commercialization of science, open access developments;
  7. The relevance of animal studies in drugs/medical technology development; 
  8. Access to drugs, vaccines and diagnostics;
  9. Health & equity; health & ethics aspects. 
The students write individual very short papers in which they critically reflect on these various subthemes of the course,  developing their own substantiated argumentation line about the topic.  Groups of 2 students pick a paper theme which they will study in depth. In week 2 students start reading about the problem area, the possible  technological solutions and the relation to sustainability and health in general, and they develop a brief work plan for their paper. This workplan will be discussed with their supervisors. During week 4-8 students transform their work plan in a draft paper based on insights from literature and guest-lectures. During weekly  tutorials parts of the paper will be discussed and students will give peer-feedback on each other’s draft. Results of the paper project will be presented in an expert workshop in week 8.  By the end of week 9 the final paper has to be finished, based on comments from the expert panel and the supervisor on the draft version. In week 9 there is also a written exam.
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