Utrecht/WHO Collaborating Centre for

Pharmaceutical Policy and Regulation

The initiative 

In March 2008, the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology of Utrecht University received designation as a European/World Health Organization (EURO/WHO) Collaborating Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmaceutical Policy Analysis.
By establishing the Utrecht WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmaceutical Policy and Regulation, the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology aimed to create innovative synergies between the methods and contents of pharmacoepidemiology and pharmaceutical policy analysis, providing new and breakthrough answers to public health questions. The Division wants to contribute to finding these answers because of its strong scientific and independent record in pharmacoepidemiology, its expertise in a broad range of clinical areas, its strong international network with an array of other scientific institutes, regulatory environments, NGOs, and the like, and its growing experience in pharmaceutical policy evaluations.

Located in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Utrecht University, the Utrecht WHO Collaborating Centre will work to create an innovative platform for knowledge transfer by providing research and policy oriented advanced training, education and consulting opportunities for an international network of public health professionals, policy makers and regulatory experts. These activities will help in meeting the needs of a new generation of well-skilled and educated pharmaceutical policy analysts. The Utrecht WHO Collaborating Centre will nurture an environment for both need based pharmaceutical policy research, formulation and analysis, as well as science driven, blue-sky thinking about innovative approaches in public health and medicines and will support and respond to pharmaceutical policy work of WHO.

The centre today

The partnership connects our faculty and students to health experts in the field of public health and pharmaceutical policy. The Centre aims at developing new methods for independent policy research, evidence based policy scenarios and conceptual innovation in the area of pharmaceutical policy analysis. The Centre conducts pharmaceutical policy training courses in The Netherlands (and abroad), offers conferences, summer classes and other teaching and learning projects focusing on the training and education needs in pharmacoepidemiology and pharmaceutical policy analysis. The Centre provides scientific advise to third parties, especially public health authorities, NGOs and academia on pharmacoepidemiology and pharmaceutical policy issues and works with WHO and other international partners on joint research initiatives to improve use of medicines. One important initiative of the Center is the yearly organisation of the Utrecht-WHO summer course. The aim of these courses (Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug safety, Pharmaceutical Policy Analysis, Pharmacoeconomics) are to give students insight into current developments in pharmaceutical policy making as well to give a better understanding of the methods available for analysing the effects of policy interventions.