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Our CHOICE PhD students continue to advance research to improve health outcomes

From all of us at CHOICE, we hope your year is off to a good start. Our PhD students have been busy since last year and we wanted to take the time to highlight a few of their key accomplishments.

Meng Li

Meng Li, a 5th year CHOICE PhD candidate, along with Kai Yeung (CHOICE Alum), and Josh Carlson (CHOICE Faculty) won Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy’s (JMCP) Best Paper Award. The paper was submitted to JMCP as a Research Brief. They simulated the costs and outcomes of trastuzumab for the treatment of metastatic breast and gastric cancers, under the traditional indication-based pricing (IBP) framework using clinical trials data and the outcomes guarantee framework using data from observational studies.

They found that compared to a outcomes guarantee contract, a traditional IBP would be likely to produce an underpayment for metastatic breast cancer and overpayment for advanced gastric cancer. This research illustrated the potential of an outcomes guarantee framework to achieve prices aligned with real-world value for drugs with multiple indications.

Key Take Away: The policy implication for this research is that payers and manufacturers desiring to implement a value-based purchasing should consider outcomes guarantee contracts when there are analytic resources to support them.

The full paper can be found here

Mark Bounthavong

Mark Bounthavong, 5th year CHOICE PhD candidate, has been nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and was invited to speak on the topic of improving medication safety for veterans. His goal is to educate providers using unbiased, noncommercial evidence so that they can provide the best care for Veterans.

The full-length video can be found here

Additionally, Mark and his team were awarded the American Society of Health-System Pharmacy Best Practice Award for their work on using trained clinical pharmacist to engage in academic detailing with Veterans Health Administration providers in order to augment their opioid and naloxone prescribing. The opioid epidemic has been called a national public health emergency by the U.S. President. Strategies to combat this has been varied, focusing on limiting the drug supply and identifying alternatives to pain management. My work focused on behavioral modification                                                      using educational outreach to target providers.

Simrun (Simi) Grewal

Since January 2017, CHOICE PhD student Simrun (Simi) Grewal has worked with UW’s Strategic Training, Analytics, and Research Center (START) as a research assistant with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s (BMGF) Integrated Portfolio Management (IPM) Team.

Recognizing the inherent trade-offs across investments to develop, introduce, and deliver healthcare solutions in low-and middle-income countries, IPM uses a systematic approach to estimate and compare the economic value, health impact, and risks of different vaccines and interventions. Through such a process, potential investments can be transparently prioritized to maximize total health impact across disease areas.

In addition to its internal function, IPM was designed to ultimately provide a public good in valuation modeling support to various communities facing global healthcare resources allocation decisions. As part of this aim, the team has collaborated with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Founded in 2000, Gavi carries a mission to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing equitable use of vaccines in lower-income countries. During the summer of 2017, the IPM team, including START student research assistants, conducted an analysis to assess the health impact of a typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) across countries eligible for Gavi support. The analysis contributed to information presented to the World Health Organization and the Gavi Board. In November 2017, Gavi announced its decision to provide $85 million between 2019-2020 to support to use of TCV in eligible countries


Advance your career in patient-centered outcomes research at the University of Washington. Learn more about our Graduate Programs in Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy.

Link to Department of Pharmacy archived news