Veronika J. Wirtz, PhD, MSc

Associate Professor, Global Health
Veronika Wirtz


Veronika J. Wirtz, MSc, PhD is a pharmacist, educator and researcher with over ten years of experience in international public health focusing on health system strengthening and program evaluations of medicines access and utilization. Currently, Dr. Wirtz is Associate Professor of Global Health at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) where she teaches courses in health systems, pharmaceuticals in public health, and non-communicable diseases. She is a Visiting Professor of the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Mexico and coordinator of a student exchange program between the institutions of her affiliation. Her interest and expertise include medicines price analysis, generic medicines policies, access to medicines for non-communicable diseases and the role of the private sector to promote equitable access and efficient use of medicines in low and middle income countries. Among other international studies Dr Wirtz carried out cross-national comparison of medicines consumption using large sales data bases to inform policy making about adequate use of medicines and prevention of antimicrobial resistance. Recently she became the Co-Chair of The Lancet Commission on Essential Medicine Policies. The Commission has the goals of (1) re-confirming the ongoing relevance, and the crucial need of comprehensive essential medicines policies to achieve broader global health and sustainable development goals, especially universal health coverage and (2) formulating recommendations for global essential medicine policies for the next two decades. The Report of the Commission is expected to be published in 2016. From 2004 to 2012 she was researcher and lecturer at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Mexico and a founding member and Head of the Medicines in Public Health Research Group which is a multi-disciplinary team of 15 experts in health economics, epidemiology, social science carrying out pharmaceutical policy analysis in Mexico and Latin America. Over the last years she has regularly taught short courses in Pharmacoepidemiology and Medicines Utilization Research at INSP in Mexico. She has worked as a technical advisor for various international organizations, among them the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Alliance for Health Systems and Policy Research, Health Action International and the Ford Foundation. She has also worked with the Ministry of Health in Mexico on various program evaluations and capacity building initiatives. She published widely in international peer review journals such as The Lancet, British Medical Journal, World Health Organization Bulletin, Health Policy and Planning, Health Policy, Value in Health, Social Science and Medicine, Tropical Medicine and International Health. Since Fall 2016 she is Associate Editor of Health Systems & Reform, a leading journal publishing health system and policy research. She received her training as a pharmacist from Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, Germany and her Master in Clinical Pharmacy and PhD from the University of London in the UK.


  • University of London, PhD
  • University of London, MSc

Classes Taught

  • SPHGH704
  • SPHGH712
  • SPHGH713
  • SPHGH760
  • SPHGH880
  • SPHGH943


  • Published on 1/6/2017

    Vogler S, Paris V, Ferrario A, Wirtz VJ, de Joncheere K, Schneider P, Pedersen HB, Dedet G, Babar ZU. How Can Pricing and Reimbursement Policies Improve Affordable Access to Medicines? Lessons Learned from European Countries. Appl Health Econ Health Policy. 2017 Jan 06. PMID: 28063134.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/25/2016

    Rockers PC, Wirtz VJ, Vian T, Onyango MA, Ashigbie PG, Laing R. Study protocol for a cluster-randomised controlled trial of an NCD access to medicines initiative: evaluation of Novartis Access in Kenya. BMJ Open. 2016 Nov 25; 6(11):e013386. PMID: 27888177.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/8/2016

    Wirtz VJ, Hogerzeil HV, Gray AL, Bigdeli M, de Joncheere CP, Ewen MA, Gyansa-Lutterodt M, Jing S, Luiza VL, Mbindyo RM, Möller H, Moucheraud C, Pécoul B, Rägo L, Rashidian A, Ross-Degnan D, Stephens PN, Teerawattananon Y, 't Hoen EF, Wagner AK, Yadav P, Reich MR. Essential medicines for universal health coverage. Lancet. 2017 Jan 28; 389(10067):403-476. PMID: 27832874.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/7/2016

    Manne-Goehler J, Umeh CA, Montgomery SP, Wirtz VJ. Estimating the Burden of Chagas Disease in the United States. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Nov; 10(11):e0005033. PMID: 27820837.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/4/2016

    Wirtz VJ, Kaplan WA, Kwan GF, Laing RO. Response by Wirtz et al to Letter Regarding Article, "Access to Medications for Cardiovascular Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries". Circulation. 2016 Oct 04; 134(14):e305-e306. PMID: 27698055.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/26/2016

    Santa-Ana-Tellez Y, Mantel-Teeuwisse AK, Leufkens HG, Wirtz VJ. Effects of over-the-counter sales restriction of antibiotics on substitution with medicines for symptoms relief of cold in Mexico and Brazil: time series analysis. Health Policy Plan. 2016 Nov; 31(9):1291-6. PMID: 27229872.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/24/2016

    Wirtz VJ, Kaplan WA, Kwan GF, Laing RO. Access to Medications for Cardiovascular Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Circulation. 2016 May 24; 133(21):2076-85. PMID: 27217433.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/10/2016

    Sun J, Ren L, Wirtz V. How much could be saved in Chinese hospitals in procurement of anti-hypertensives and anti-diabetics? J Med Econ. 2016 Sep; 19(9):881-8. PMID: 27100310.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/15/2016

    Vogler S, Zimmermann N, Ferrario A, Wirtz VJ, de Joncheere K, Pedersen HB, Dedet G, Paris V, Mantel-Teeuwisse AK, Babar ZU. Pharmaceutical policies in a crisis? Challenges and solutions identified at the PPRI Conference. J Pharm Policy Pract. 2016; 9:9. PMID: 26981252.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/24/2016

    Ashigbie PG, Azameti D, Wirtz VJ. Challenges of medicines management in the public and private sector under Ghana's National Health Insurance Scheme - A qualitative study. J Pharm Policy Pract. 2016; 9:6. PMID: 26913200.

    Read at: PubMed

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