The appropriate use of medications is a central aspect of health care. Each year, basic science research and biotechnology produce new treatments which hold the promise of major clinical benefit. However, these interventions also carry risks which must be rigorously measured and evaluated against the treatment’s efficacy. Drugs are also a growing component of health care expenditures, and more attention is being drawn to the relation between the costs of medication and their benefits.
Our mission is to innovate effective medication treatment in clinical practice through evidence generation, evidence translation, and implementation science. To do that we study the real-world effectiveness of medical products, the safety of medications and biologics, the utilization and adherence to drugs, the cost-effectiveness and affordability of medications, the regulatory science aspects of their approval and surveillance. 15 workgroups focus on these aspects across the life cycle of medications.
In 1998, the BWH Department of Medicine founded the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics under the leadership of Jerry Avorn, MD, Professor of Medicine, to facilitate a wide range of activities related to the use and outcomes of medications, addressed from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives. In 2018, Sebastian Schneeweiss, MD, ScD, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, took the helm of the Division.