Academic detailing is an evidence-based approach to informing clinicians about therapeutic options for various illnesses and best practices for managing chronic conditions. It is a real-world application of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology’s research into comparative effectiveness, adherence, cost-effectiveness, and several other fields. The National Resource Center for Academic Detailing (NaRCAD), directed by Michael Fischer, MD, MS, offers two sessions a year on how to be an academic detailer, in addition to needs assessments, program evaluations, and assistance in developing academic detailing materials.
A major focus of research in the division is on improving pharmacoepidemiologic methods and the validity of pharmacoepidemiologic research. The HD-Pharmacoepi site is home to many resources developed by faculty and are available for free download and use, including the high-dimensional propensity score developed by Sebastian Schneeweiss and Jeremy Rassen.
The DEcIDE Methods Center (DMC) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop and improve methods for conducting comparative effectiveness research (CER). The DMC complements and supports new research conducted under the DEcIDE Network and other funding mechanisms via peer-review and learning network activities. Educational activites include monthly methods webinars and scans of the CER methods literature, which can be found here. Key personnel include Sebastian Schneeweiss (Director), John Seeger (Senior Pharmacoepidemiologist), and Liz Robinson (Project Manager).
PORTAL and its parent organization, the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics of Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, bring together concerned researchers, analysts, and trainees from the fields of medicine, law, epidemiology, and health policy to critically evaluate emerging issues on the regulation, use, and reimbursement of therapeutics (prescription drugs and medical devices). We are interested in how laws and regulations influence the development, utilization, and affordability of therapeutics, as well as the ethical questions that current and proposed policies raise for patients, physicians, policymakers, and payors.
Particular areas of focus include drug and device regulation, intellectual property, cost-effectiveness, and comparative effectiveness. These topics are addressed through a variety of descriptive, qualitative, and quantitative methodologies. Topics are often suggested by emerging policy developments that are being considered or implemented at the federal or state level. Another major focus of PORTAL is support of young scholars in law, policy, medicine, and public health, and mentorship of trainees interested in pursuing careers in law, policy, or public health research. Development of additional researchers in this area will promote broader study of these topics in the future.
The PBRC started in January 2017 and draws on PORTAL’s expertise in biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical medicine, ethics, law, and regulation to study the properties and patterns of biomarker-driven health research.