Since 2003, the Euopean Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine or Institute of Pharmaceutical Medicine has established an internationally recognized academic research institution with a focus on pharmaceutical related and health care related research. ECPM's research activities focus on the health economic characteristics, cost-benefit implications and efficient use (e.g. guided by predictive testing or risk stratification models) of pharmaceuticals and other health care interventions in Switzerland and internationally. They have a close relationship with modern Health Technology Assessment and imply the use and integration of health economic and pharmacoeconomic evaluation methodology (cost effectiveness, cost utility, application of advanced modeling techniques), outcomes research and clinical research (including randomized clinical trial and observational study methodology), and biostatistics. Complementary activities occur in related fields such as health systems research, health services research and drug-related clinical epidemiology.
Health economic evaluation studies, which are at the core of ECPM's research activities, integrate clinical evidence with medical resource use and cost data to analyze the value for money provided by new or long-used drugs and other healthcare interventions. The overarching question is how scarce health care resources can be optimally used to maximize patient benefit. The results of this type of research are an important pre-requisite of informed and transparent decision making in the health care sector.
Clinical fields addressed by ECPM studies include oncology and hematology, cardiovascular disease, geriatrics, postoperative pain management, osteoporosis, infectious diseases and vaccinations.