At the Global Health Economics for Pharmacy (GHEP) lab, our faculty and researchers work to develop economic evidence for vaccines, medicines and pharmacy practice to save lives, improve quality of care and reduce poverty globally. We invite you to learn more about our vigorous research agenda and contact us for further information on our activities and services.


Our research is at the intersection of global health, pharmacy and health economics – applying economic tools to address a variety of health problems, with an emphasis on low- and middle-income countries.

Substandard and Falsified Medicines

Substandard and falsified medicines pose significant risks to global health with far reaching consequences. Beyond the effects on one’s health, there are economic impacts, such as wasted treatment costs and productivity losses to consumers, reduced sales and tax revenue and added costs to combat counterfeiting. Estimating the economic impact of substandard and falsified medicines is essential to understand the extent of the problem and make an investment case for solutions. We are working to estimate the economic impact of substandard and falsified medicines globally. To do this, our team has developed an agent-based model, entitled the Substandard and Falsified Antimalarial Research Impact (SAFARI) model. Details and methodology can be found here.

Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing threat to public health worldwide. Repercussions of AMR include treatment failure, prolonged treatment, and the necessity to use second and third line treatment regimens, which can all bear significant health and economic impact. Our team is developing an agent-based model, called the Dynamic Representation of the Economics of AMR (DREAMR) model to estimate the impact of AMR.

Value of Vaccines

While vaccines are widely regarded as one of the most cost-effective global health interventions, there remain gaps in the evidence base on the broader economic impact of vaccination. For example, evidence may be limited for select low- and middle-income countries or for specific population groups. Demonstrating the economic value of vaccines is important for countries to continue their investments in immunization programs and allocate further funding in health. We are gathering data and modeling the economic impact of the value of vaccination.

Recent Publications

Lee B, Brown S, Haidari L, Clark S, Abimbola T, Pallas S, Wallace A, Mitgang E, Leonard J, Bartsch S, Yemeke T, Zenkov E, Ozawa S. (2019) Economic value of vaccinating geographically hard-to-reach populations with measles vaccine: A modelling application in Kenya. Vaccine. Mar 2019

Ozawa S, Haynie D, Bessias S, Laing S, Yemeke T, Evans D. (2019) Modeling the economic impact of substandard and falsified antimalarials in the Democratic Republic of Congo. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Jan 2019

Ozawa S, Evans D, Higgins C, Laing S, Awor P. (2019) Development of an agent-based model to assess the impact of substandard and falsified anti-malarials: Uganda case study. Malaria Journal. 18:5.

Ozawa S, Villar-Uribe M, Evans D, Kulkarni V, Por I. (2018) Building informed trust: developing an educational tool for injection practices and health insurance in Cambodia. Health Policy and Planning. 33(9):1009-17.

Ozawa S, Evans D, Bessias S, Haynie D, Yemeke T, Laing S, Herrington J. (2018) Prevalence and estimated economic burden of substandard and falsified medicines in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Jama Network Open. 1(4):e181662.

Ozawa S, Yemeke TT, Thompson KM. (2018) Systematic review of the incremental costs of interventions that increase immunization coverage. Vaccine. 36:3641-9.

Ozawa S, Zhou M, Wonodi C, Chen H, Bridges J. (2018) Parents’ preferences for interventions to improve childhood immunization uptake in northern Nigeria. Vaccine. 36(20): 2833-2841.

Morizio P, Burkhart J, Ozawa S. (2018) Denosumab: A unique perspective on adherence and cost-effectiveness compared with oral bisphosphonates in osteoporosis patients. Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2018; 1-11.

Ozawa S, Yemeke T, Tawah A, Kulkarni V, Villar-Uribe M. (2018) Out-of-pocket household expenditures on medical injections in Cambodia. PharmacoEconomics – Open. 1-7.

Ozawa S, Wonodi C, Babalola O, Ismail T, Bridges J. (2017) Using best-worst scaling to rank factors affecting vaccination demand in northern Nigeria. Vaccine. 2017 Oct; S0264-410X(17):31332-4.

Ozawa S, Clark S, Portnoy A, Grewal S, Stack M, Sinha A, Mirelman A, Franklin H, Friberg I, Tam Y, Walker N, Clark A, Ferrari M, Sweet S, Goldie S, Vynnycky E, Reef S, Grant G, Garske T, Li M, Hansen P, Johnson H, Walker D. (2017) Economic impact of vaccination against 10 vaccine-preventable diseases across 73 low- and middle-income countries, 2001-2020. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2017;95:629-638.

Haidari L, Brown S, Constenla D, Zenkov E, Ferguson M, de Broucker G, Ozawa S, Clark S, Portnoy A, Lee B. (2017) Geospatial planning and the resulting economic impact of human papillomavirus vaccine introduction in Mozambique. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 2017 Apr; 44(4):222-226.

Ozawa S, Paina L, Qiu M. (2016) Exploring pathways for building trust in vaccines and strengthening health system resilience. BMC Health Services Research. 6(Suppl 7):639.

Ozawa S, Grewal S, Portnoy A, Sinha A, Arilotta R, Stack M, Brenzel L. (2016) Funding gap for immunization across 94 low- and middle-income countries. Vaccine. 34(2016): 6408-6416.

Ozawa S, Portnoy A, Getaneh H, Clark S, Knoll M, Bishai D, Yang HK, Patwardhan P. (2016) Modeling the economic burden of adult vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States. Health Affairs (Millwood). 35(11): 1-9.


Sachiko Ozawa

(919) 966-2626

Sachiko Ozawa, Ph.D., M.H.S., is a health economist whose work focuses on generating evidence that can be used to improve the health of populations globally. Her research focuses on examining the value of vaccines, assessing the economic burden of diseases and examining the demand and utilization of health care. She is interested in the interface between pharmacy and public health from the perspective of a global health economist.


Hui-Han Chen, MHS, BS

(919) 966-9774

Hui-Han Chen received his MHS degree in Health Economics from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with particular interests in economic evaluation, pharmacoeconomics, and the role health economists can contribute to increasing the efficiency, affordability, as well as equity of medications.

Hui-Han went to the National Taiwan University (NTU) where he holds his BS in Pharmacy. After graduating from NTU, he worked as a hospital pharmacist in National Taiwan University Hospital for three years.

Colleen Higgins

(919) 966-2812

Colleen studied public health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health focusing on economic evaluation, health care modeling, and international health issues. She worked previously for a German economics firm modeling the social impact of innovative medicines. Before that she studied Philosophy and German in San Diego, California, and was an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea.

Sarah Laing, MPH, BS

(919) 966-1080

Sarah started her public health career working as an HIV/AIDS research assistant in Durham, North Carolina. She continued to work in the field of HIV research while obtaining her master’s degree in Washington, DC and upon graduation she accepted a position as an ASPPH Allan Rosenfield Global Health Fellow where she worked on PEPFAR programs from CDC field offices in DRC and Vietnam. She worked with ministers of health, international NGOs, and multilateral organizations on issues related to capacity building and health systems strengthening. Her work with PEPFAR sparked an interest in public private partnerships and helped prepare her for her work in South Africa where she worked with corporate partners to help fund youth development programs.

Tatenda Yemeke, M.S.

(919) 966-9955

Tatenda Yemeke, a native of Zimbabwe, received his bachelor’s degree in public policy studies with general honors from the University of Chicago and a Master of Science in global health from Duke University. At Duke, he conducted research on mental health interventions for HIV positive women with sexual trauma histories and traumatic stress in Cape Town, South Africa. Prior to Duke, Yemeke worked as a math-tutoring fellow for the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute in Chicago public high schools. As an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, he studied abroad in Beijing, China, and worked on emergency care access in Uganda.


Sophia Bessias, M.P.H.

(919) 966-9786

Sophia Bessias, M.P.H., joined Global Health Economics for Pharmaceutical Science in October 2016. She holds a B.A. in health and societies from the University of Pennsylvania and a joint Master’s in Public Health from the Universities of Copenhagen and Granada. As a graduate student, Bessias nurtured an interest in statistical modeling that she now applies to the subject of substandard and falsified medicines in low and middle income countries. She moved to the Triangle area from Philadelphia, where she worked for the health department on a study of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis implementation in the community. Bessias is committed to research that addresses health disparities locally and globally.

Daniel Evans, MSc

(919) 966-1080

Daniel Evans received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Ball State University and a Master of Science in Global Health from Duke University. At Duke, he studied the molecular epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum transmission in Africa and conducted a research study on insecticide treated bed net efficacy and malaria transmission in rural Kenya. Daniel grew up in Africa and is fascinated at the interrelatedness of culture and health care. During his undergraduate degree Daniel conducted his honors thesis on the cultural interaction of modern and traditional medicine in sub-Saharan Africa. Daniel is committed to combating health inequities and removing barriers to health care for disadvantaged populations.

Deson Haynie, M.H.S

Deson Haynie holds a B.S. in neuroscience from Brigham Young University and a Master of Health Science in health economics from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has previously conducted research on the social determinants of health, dengue fever prevention, vaccine economics, systems thinking and patient incentives. Deson is currently helping develop an agent-based model to estimate the economic and health impacts of false and substandard medicines. He plans to start medical school this fall. When not immersed in coding, Deson can be found outdoors adventuring or inside working on his latest language endeavor.


Open Positions

We are interested in recruiting highly motivated people interested in global health economics at all levels (research associates, graduate students) research to join our research group.

Please email with your CV and cover letter about potential interests.

Call for Applications for a Fellowship in Quality of Medical Products

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) Quality Institute have partnered to establish a fellowship program for early career scientists and researchers who wish to contribute to the economic evidence base for quality medical products. We seek qualified candidates with advanced degrees who wish to conduct novel research and receive specialized training in quality of medical products.

See Request for Applications (including required application elements) here

See Cover page template here

See Quad chart template here