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The University of Texas at Austin

Take Your Medicine: How to Be a Savvy Consumer

The University of Texas at Austin via edX

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Medicines have eradicated or eased the symptoms of many diseases. This course explores the process, challenges and issues facing consumers when it comes to pharmaceutical products. An overview of drug development and approval with a focus on consumer issues will be presented and discussed in the context of regulations, public welfare, and healthcare providers.

Participants from all backgrounds and interest, including scientists, healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs and the general public, are encouraged to participate.


Week 1: Drug Development, Innovations and Costs
A quick overview of how drugs are developed, examples of medical innovations, how drugs cost can curb healthcare costs and intriguing patient stories
Week 2:  Drug Approvals, Safety, Costs & Manufacturing
The FDA’s role to protect consumers, drug safety aspects, why drugs cost so much and aspects of manufacturing drug products
Week 3:Generics, Personalized Meds and Counterfeits
How do generics differ from the innovator product, the potential & impact of personalized medicine and the worldwide counterfeit drug threat
Week 4: Pharmacy Field Trip, Becoming an Informed Consumer, & the Role of University Research
How pharmacists are good for your health, why following directions improves your health, universities are fueling medical innovations and talking to your healthcare provider

Taught by

Dr. Donna Kidwell, Dr. Alan Watts and Dr. Janet Walkow


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