Shu Chuen Li, a pioneer in the field of pharmacoeconomics in Australia, has joined the University as a Professor of Pharmacy.
Pharmacoeconomics involves comparing and evaluating the economic costs of new drug treatments with quality of life outcomes and benefits, and social, political and cultural impacts.
Professor Li has recently been appointed as Head of the Discipline of Pharmacy and Experimental Pharmacology at the University.
He was a key advisor to the Australian Government on the implementation of cost-effectiveness as a mandatory requirement for the inclusion of new drugs into the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
As Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Australian Government's Pharmaceutical Evaluation Section in the mid 1990s, Professor Li was involved in the introduction of mandatory cost-effectiveness requirements for reimbursement of drug treatments. Australia was the first country to put in place this mandatory requirement.
Today, presentation of pharmacoeconomic data has become a mandatory requirement for new drug subsidy applications in many jurisdictions around the world.
Professor Li said the study of pharmaceconomics was vital to understanding how drug subsidy decisions are made and allowed the decision makers to allocate healthcare dollars more efficiently.
"With chronic disease continuing to cost governments around the world billions of dollars, it has never been more important to understand the economics of health care," said Professor Li.
Professor Li joins the University of Newcastle from the National University of Singapore. He sits on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Pharmaceconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) - the major international professional society that focuses on promoting pharmaceconomic and outcomes research. He is also one of the founding members of the ISPOR Asian Consortium which promotes pharmacoeconomic and outcomes research in the Asia-Pacific region.