We are witnessing a period of renaissance, as current advances in medical technology and breakthroughs are unprecedented in human history. There is a cure for Hepatitis C that works in weeks. Polio used to afflict thousands around the world; today, there are only twelve cases in just two countries. We are within years—not decades—of personalized therapies for cancer.
Despite these scientific leaps, every society around the world faces stark challenges in providing equitable access to these innovations, sustaining our pace of innovation, and, at the same time, becoming responsible custodians of our limited resources. While we usher in this era of clinical cures, precision medicine and (really) big data, a continued commitment to the fundamentals of science and academia is important. Such commitment includes the passion for developing and applying state-of-art methods in the disciplines of economics, statistics, and decision sciences for answering the indispensable questions, and for dedicatedly training the next generation of researchers so that they take on these local, national and global challenges head-on.
It is in this global context that Director Anirban Basu announced the launch of The Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute (http://www.uwchoice.org/) at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy in December 2017.
An international hub of excellence in generating knowledge to improve individual and population health, The CHOICE Institute expands our Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research & Policy Program (PORPP) to organize research and training activities and resources to enhance our competitiveness and expand our leadership in the field. Key programmatic areas include health economics, policy analysis/big data sciences, economics of precision medicine, drug and vaccine safety, and global medicines issues. The CHOICE Institute mission is three-fold:
- Research: Develop innovative methods and generate actionable evidence about the effectiveness, safety, and value of medical products and services that improve decision making in health care and policy.
- Training: Provide transformative training in health economics, outcomes research, and policy analysis to meet contemporary health care challenges regionally, nationally, and globally.
- Service: Be a leading resource on the effectiveness, safety, and value of medical products and services by providing expertise and facilitating collaborations at the regional, national, and global level.
The Institute will be an integral part of the Department of Pharmacy and the School of Pharmacy, which will facilitate interactions with clinical faculty in the Department and the School and reinforce the crucial role of medications in shaping patient health and patient-centered healthcare delivery.