FRM5630 – Use of medicines in a Global Society

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course aims to give participants an understanding of the role of medicines in the global society, as influenced by public and private players and policies nationally, and internationally.

Specifically, the course aims to inform about:

  • What influences the way people understand and use medicines? The quality of care from health providers, public health information and communication, patients’ own culture, beliefs, religion and experiences.
  • Influence on patients’ choice of medicines, adherence to treatment, and on stigma


  • Create awareness about the role of Western and traditional medicines. Counterfeit medicines. How the medicines are being used, challenges, and examples of how they are being tackled by different groups and/or countries.


  • How public health policies are developed, and what influences them (who are the different forces influencing policies, which interests do they have, and how are they competing with each other)
  • The role of medicine policies in the “developed” world, and in the “under developing countries”
  • How different countries legislation affects the population’s access to and use of drugs.
  • Prices, essential drugs and WHO policies


  • The role of the pharmaceutical companies
  • Corruption

Learning outcome

After completing the course the participants should:

  • Understand the impact of medicines in the global society on the health and economy of the individual, the families, vulnerable groups and the communities.
  • Understand how drugs are perceived and used by ordinary people (with different educational, economic and cultural background).
  • Have knowledge about the rationale behind international, national, institutional, public health programs and providers "drug policy".
  • Furthermore, they should understand how drugs are integrated with other preventive and curative efforts in the community, and how cost-efficacy of drugs can be judged in such contexts.
  • Know about examples of countries and organizations that have successfully dealt with parts of the problems with drugs, and made significant public health gains (including examples from HAI and other patient groups winning public health “battles”);
  • Apply the understanding of the above principles to the following:
  • The killer infections in the “poor” world: TB, HIV/AIDS and malaria
  • The killer infections in the “rich” world: Lifestyle disease
  • Women’s situation, and their ability to take care of own health (including pregnancy), children’s health and family health


The course is open to students who have had their study plan approved for the advanced part of the Professional Pharmacy Programme (5-year masterdegree programme) at the University of Oslo. This requires that all previous Pharmacy courses of the 5-year masterdegree programme at UiO have been passed.

The course is obligatory for master students in international health at (and developed in cooperation with) the Institute of General Practice and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo.

Only students admitted to the course may take part in instruction and tuition and sit for the examination.



Formal prerequisite knowledge

For pharmacy students: The course is only available to students who have passed all previous pharmacy courses up to FRM3040.


Lectures, seminars and projects.
The information will be presented using a variety of teaching methods, aiming to let the students use the knowledge gained in exercises to encourage integration of the learning to real life situations.

Workshops, PBL-work and seminars are obligatory.

Inactivity and / or excessive absences in compulsory education means that the student does not receive final assessment / examination

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The course exam is a home-exam

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

As of 1 August, 2016, the use of own calculators is no longer permitted. Casio FX-991EX calculators are handed out to all exam candidates at the beginning of the exam.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Periodic evaluation report

Facts about this course






Every autumn

Cancelled in 2020

The course is last held in autumn 2019

Max 10 students


Every autumn

Cancelled in 2020

The course is last held in autumn 2019

Teaching language