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Core Problem Areas

Center faculty reflect diverse backgrounds and skillsets as well as active areas of research. Despite this, the Center’s efforts coalesce around six core problem areas as described below.

Clinical Decision-Making

Prescription drugs are prescribed during clinical encounters. Thorough and effective patient-provider communication about the benefits, risks, costs and alternatives to prescription medicines is a vital part of clinical care. The Center supports research and advocacy to identify and overcome barriers to patient-provider communication to improve safe medication use and to maximize adherence.

Comparative Effectiveness

For stakeholders to make informed decisions about prescription drug use, they need timely evidence about the comparative effectiveness of therapies and their alternatives, including their risks and benefits. Incomplete evidence contributes to overuse of some therapies, underuse of others, and risky prescribing. The Center supports innovative research into these topics.

Global Medicines

Ensuring adequate access and affordability of prescription medicines poses major and unique challenges for countries around the world. These challenges are particularly salient in emerging economies that account for an increasing proportion of the worlds’ population and pharmaceutical expenditures. Center investigators focus on how public policy can be optimized to maximize global drug availability and access.

Medication Safety

Adverse effects of medicines are often learned only after the therapies have been on the market and used broadly. Center investigators are working to develop new methods for identifying risk, predicting the likelihood of a risky medication or drug combination, and working to protect the public from excessive exposure to risky medications.

Policy Analyses

Complex and dynamic policies govern prescription drug regulation. Policy-makers are challenged with maximizing innovation while protecting public health, and of developing payment policies that promote evidence-based usage. Center investigators evaluate regulatory policies to provide policy-makers with information to continually optimize pharmaceutical regulation.

Prescription Abuse

Prescription drugs provide therapeutic value to millions of Americans. At the same time, rates of prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths are skyrocketing. The annual number of fatal drug overdoses in the United States now surpasses those of motor vehicle deaths. The Center supports innovative research and public advocacy to help stem this epidemic.

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