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Rascati Recognized by Co-op

Dr. Karen Rascati, professor of pharmacy administration, has been named a runner-up in the Robert W. Hamilton Book Award competition sponsored by the University Co-operative Society.

The honor was announced at the 13th annual awards ceremony held Wednesday, Oct. 28 at Austin's Four Seasons Hotel. More than 100 books were nominated for this award. The awards program honors Robert W. Hamilton, a retired professor of law at The University of Texas at Austin and a former chairperson of the Co-op. The Co-op joined with UT Austin to establish the awards program in 1997 to recognize leading authors and researchers at the university. The program is considered one of the most prestigious author awards at the university.

Rascati's book, "Essentials of Pharmacoeconomics," provides a straightforward explanation of the essential factors of the economics of pharmacy practice. It defines terminology used in research and covers the application of economic-based evaluation methods to pharmaceutical products and services. The book, published by Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, was recently translated into Portuguese.

The term "pharmacoeconomics" first appeared in the literature in the mid-1980's. . It incorporates methods from more established disciplines to help estimate the value of pharmacy products and services by comparing costs and outcomes. The book covers the application of economic-based evaluation methods to pharmaceutical products and services and includes examples of how pharmacoeconomic evaluations relate to decisions that affect patient care. It also examines how health-related quality of life is assessed and valued.

"With current emphasis on health care reform, using health care resources wisely - i.e., getting good value for the money spent - is paramount. Drug costs are responsible for approximately 10-12 percent of the country's total health care expenditures. In 1990, the U.S. spent approximately $40 billion on prescription medications; in 2006, we spent almost $250 billion. While medications costs continue to grow, it is important to keep other factors in mind," the author continued.

For instance, she explained, 20 years ago many patients diagnosed with an ulcer faced surgery. Today that same patient might be prescribed medications to heal the ulcer thus avoiding surgery. Therefore, while the prescription cost for today's ulcer patient may be considerably higher than it was 20 years ago, the medications may eliminate the need for costly surgery.

Dr. Robert Talbert, professor of pharmacotherapy, was the only other pharmacy faculty member nominated for the award. His publication, "Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach," is in its seventh edition and is published by McGraw Hill.


Last Reviewed: October 30, 2009

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