School of Pharmacy

Sean D. Sullivan

Professor and Dean, School of Pharmacy

CHOICE Faculty, Office of the Dean, Pharmacy Faculty, School Faculty

Telephone: (206) 685-8153


Office Location: University of Washington 1959 NE Pacific Ave, H-364, Box 357631 Seattle, WA 98195-7630


Professor of Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Member, Institute for Public Health Genetics, University of Washington


  • BSc.Pharm 1983 Oregon State University, College of Pharmacy
  • M.Sc. 1986 University of Texas, College of Pharmacy (Administrative and Economic Sciences)
  • Ph.D. 1992 University of California, Berkeley (Health Economics and Policy)

Research Interests

  • Economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals
  • Health technology assessment
  • Medical decision making

Courses Taught

  • PHARM 541 – Pharmacy, Health and Society


Sean D. Sullivan, BScPharm, MSc, PhD, is Professor and Dean, School of Pharmacy. He holds a joint appointment as Professor of Health Services in the School of Public Health. He holds adjunct appointments in the School of Medicine, the Public Health Sciences Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.

He completed training in pharmacy at Oregon State University in 1983, obtained a master’s degree at the University of Texas in 1986 and a PhD in health economics and policy at the University of California, Berkeley in 1992.

Dr. Sullivan has authored more than 400 articles, book chapters and reports. In many of these, he has assessed the evidence and applications of medical technology in relation to coverage and reimbursement decisions. His research interests include health technology assessment, medical decision-making, and economic evaluation of medical technology, including pharmaceuticals. He is past president of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) and past chair of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Executive Committee of the Format for Formulary Submissions – the United States evidence-based guidelines for formulary decision making.

Dr. Sullivan was a member of the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee, a member of the Regence Blue Shield and Premera Blue Cross P/T Committee, and Chair of the Premera Blue Cross Value Assessment Committee. He was awarded the 2014 Stephen G. Avey Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), the 2015 APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research Sciences (APRS) Research Achievement Award, and was named an ICON of Pharmacy (2019) from Oregon State University.

Selected Publications

  • Gold LS, Montealegre F, Allen-Ramey FC, Jardim J, Smith N, Sansores R, Sullivan SD. Level of Asthma Control and Health Care Utilization in Latin America. Allergy. 2013 Oct 10.
  • Lin VW, Wright A, Flum DR, Garrison LP Jr., Alfonso-Cristancho R, Sullivan SD. Patients’ experience and outcomes after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding in Washington state. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2013 September – October;9(5):701-705.
  • Kwon S, Wang B, Wong E, Alfonso-Cristancho R, Sullivan SD, Flum DR. The Impact of Accreditation on Safety and Cost of Bariatric Surgery. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2013 September – October;9(5):617-622.
  • Hansen RN, Nguyen HP, Sullivan SD. Bioequivalent Antiepileptic Drug Switching and the Risk of Seizure-Related Events.Epilepsy Res. 2013 Sep;106(1-2):237-43.
  • Bresnahan BW, Rundell SD, Dagadakis MC, Sullivan SD, Jarvik JG, Nguyen H, Friedly JL. A systematic review to assess comparative effectiveness studies in epidural steroid injections for lumbar spinal stenosis and to estimate reimbursement amounts. PM R. 2013 Aug;5(8):705-14.
  • Devine EB, Alfonso-Cristancho R, Devlin A, Edwards TC, Farrokhi ET, Kessler L, Lavallee DC, Patrick DL, Sullivan SDTarczy-Hornoch P, Yanez ND, Flum DR; CERTAIN Collaborative. A model for incorporating patient and stakeholder voices in a learning health care network: Washington State’s Comparative Effectiveness Research Translation Network. J Clin Epidemiol.2013 Aug;66(8 Suppl):S122-9.
  • Lin VW, Wong ES, Wright A, Flum DR, Garrison LP Jr, Alfonso-Cristancho R, Sullivan SD. Association between Health-Related Quality of Life and Body Mass After Adjustable Gastric Banding: A Nonlinear Approach. Value Health. 2013 Jul-Aug;16(5):823-9.
  • Sullivan SD, Dalal MR, Burke JP. The Impact of Diabetes Counseling and Education: Clinical and Cost Outcomes From a Large Population of US Managed Care Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Educ. 2013 Jul-Aug;39(4):523-31.
  • Batty AJ, Hansen RN, Bloudek LM, Varon SF, Hayward EJ, Pennington BW, Lipton RB, Sullivan SD. The cost-effectiveness of onabotulinumtoxinA for the prophylaxis of headache in adults with chronic migraine in the UK. J Med Econ. 2013 Jul;16(7):877-87.
  • Ringold S, Grant S, Girdish C, Wallace CA, Sullivan SD. Injectable Tumor Necrosis Alpha Factor Inhibitors and Outpatient Antimicrobial Use in Children with Rheumatic Diseases: Analyses of prescription claims from a pharmacy benefit managerArthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013 Jun 10.
  • Ramsey SD, Sullivan SD, Reed SD, Tina Shih YC, Schaecher K, Dhanda R, Patt D, Pendergrass K, Walker M, Malin J,Schwartzberg L, Neumann K, Yu E, Ravelo A, Small A. Oncology Comparative Effectiveness Research: A Multistakeholder Perspective on Principles for Conduct and Reporting. Oncologist. 2013 Jun;18(6):760-7.
  • Ney JP, Devine EB, Watanabe J, Sullivan SD. Comparative efficacy of oral pharmaceuticals for the treatment of chronic peripheral neuropathic pain: Meta-Analysis and indirect treatment comparisons. Pain Med. 2013 May;14(5):706-19.
  • Spackman DE, Kadiyala S, Neumann PJ, Veenstra DL, Sullivan SD. The validity of dependence as a health outcome measure in Alzheimer disease. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2013 May;28(3):245-52.
  • Sullivan SD, Orme ME, Morais E, Mitchell SA. Interventions for the treatment of atrial fibrillation: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. Int J Cardiol. 2013 May 10;165(2):229-36.
  • Carlson JJ, Hansen RN, Dmochowski RR, Globe DR, Colayco DC, Sullivan SD. Estimating the Cost-Effectiveness of OnabotulinumtoxinA for Neurogenic Detrusor Overactivity in the United States. Clin Ther. 2013 Apr;35(4):414-24.
  • Wang BC, Wong ES, Alfonso-Cristancho R, He H, Flum DR, Arterburn DE, Garrison LP, Sullivan SD. BOOM Collaborative. Cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgical procedures for the treatment of severe obesity. Eur J Health Econ. 2013 Mar 24. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Ringold S, Grant S, Girdish C, Wallace CA, Sullivan SD. Methotrexate and Injectable Tumor Necrosis Factor-‘± Inhibitor Adherence and Persistence in Children with Rheumatic Diseases. J Rheumatol. 2013 Jan;40(1):80-6.
  • Coffin PO, Sullivan SD. Cost-effectiveness of distributing naloxone to heroin users for lay overdose reversal. Ann Intern Med. 2013 Jan 1;158(1):1-9.
  • Sullivan SD, Carlson JJ, Hansen RN. Comparative effectiveness research in the United States: a progress report. J Med Econ.2013;16(2):295-7.
  • Sullivan SD, Alfonso-Cristantio R, Carlson J, Mallya U, Ringold S. Economic consequences of sequencing biologics in rheumatoid arthritis: A systematic review. J Med Econ. 2013;16(3):391-6.
  • Spackman DE, Kadiyala S, Neumann PJ, Veenstra DL, Sullivan SD. Measuring Alzheimer disease progression with transition probabilities: Estimates from NACC-UDS. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2012 Nov;9(9):1050-8.
  • Gold LS, Smith N, Allen-Ramey FC, Nathan RA, Sullivan SD. Associations of patient outcomes with level of asthma control. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2012 Oct;109(4):260-265.e2.
  • Wong ES, Wang BC, Alfonso-Cristancho R, Flum DR, Sullivan SD, Garrison LP, Arterburn DE. BMI Trajectories Among the Severely Obese: Results From an Electronic Medical Record Population. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Oct;20(10):2107-12.
  • Thompson HJ, Weis S, Rivara FP, Wang J, Sullivan SD, Salkever D, MacKenzie EJ. Utilization and Costs of Health Care after Geriatric Traumatic Brain Injury. J Neurotrauma. 2012 Jul 1;29(10):1864-71.
  • Coffin PO, Scott JD, Golden MR, Sullivan SD. Cost-effectiveness and population outcomes of general population screening for hepatitis C. Clin Infect Dis. 2012 May;54(9):1259-71.
  • Wonder M, Backhouse ME, Sullivan SD. Australian managed entry scheme: a new manageable process for the reimbursement of new medicines? Value Health. 2012 May;15(3):586-90.
  • Klein G, Gold LS, Sullivan SD , Buist DS, Ramsey S, Kreizenbeck K, Snell K, Loggers ET, Gifford J, Watkins JB, Kessler L.Prioritizing comparative effectiveness research for cancer diagnostics using a regional stakeholder approach. J Comp Eff Res. 2012 May;1(3):241-255.
  • Jarvik JG, Comstock BA, Bresnahan BW, Nedeljkovic SS, Nerenz DR, Bauer Z, Avins AL, James K, Turner JA, Heagerty P, Kessler L, Friedly JL, Sullivan SD, Deyo RA. Study protocol: The back pain outcomes using longitudinal data (BOLD) registry. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2012 May 3;13:64.
  • Gillard PJ, Devine EB, Varon SF, Liu L, Sullivan SD. Mapping from disease-specific measures to health-state utility values in individuals with migraine. Value Health. 2012 May;15(3):485-94.
  • Drummond MF, Neumann P, Jonsson B, Luce B, Schwartz JS, Seibert U, Sullivan SD. Can we reliably benchmark health technology assessment organizations? Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2012 Apr;28(2):159-65.
  • Pichon-Riviere A, Augustovski F, Garcia-Marti S, Sullivan SD, Drummond M. Transferability of health technology assessment reports in Latin America: an exploratory survey of researchers and decision makers. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2012 Apr;28(2):180-6.
  • Friedly JL, Bresnahan BW, Comstock B, Turner JA, Deyo RA, Sullivan SD, Heagerty P, Bauer Z, Nedeljkovic SS, Avins AL, Nerenz D, Jarvik JG. Study protocol- Lumbar Epidural steroid injections for Spinal Stenosis (LESS): a double-blind randomized controlled trial of epidural steroid injections for lumbar spinal stenosis among older adults. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2012 Mar 29;13:48.
  • Akinbami LJ, Sullivan SD, Campbell JD, Grunmeier RW, Hartert TV, Lee TA, Smith RA. Asthma Outcomes: Health care utilization and costs. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Mar;129(3 Suppl):S49-64.
  • McCune JS, Sullivan SD, Blough DK, Clarke L, McDermott CL, Malin JL, Ramsey SD. Colony Stimulating Factor Use and Impact on Febrile Neutropenia among Patients with Newly Diagnosed Breast, Colorectal, or Non-small Cell Lung Cancer who were receiving chemotherapy. Pharmacotherapy. 2012 Jan;32(1):7-19.
  • Gold LS, Klein G, Carr L, Kessler L, Sullivan SD. The Emergence of Diagnostic Imaging Technologies in Breast Cancer: Discovery, Regulatory Approval, Reimbursement, and Adoption in Clinical Guidelines. Cancer Imaging. 2012 Jan 25;12:13-24.
  • Wong ES, Wang BC, Garrison LP, Alfonso-Cristancho R, Flum DR, Arterburn DE, Sullivan SD. Examining the BMI-mortality relationship using fractional polynomials. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2011 Dec 28;11:175.
  • Flum DR, Kwon S, Macleod K, Wang B, Alfonso-Cristancho R, Garrison LP, Sullivan SD; Bariatric Obesity Outcome Modeling Collaborative. The Use, Safety and Cost of Bariatric Surgery Before and After Medicare’s National Coverage Decision. Ann Surg. 2011 Dec;254(6):860-5.
  • Fu AZ, Chen L, Sullivan SD, Christiansen NP. Absenteeism and short-term disability associated with breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Nov;130(1):235-42.
  • Campbell JD, Allen-Ramey F, Sajjan SG, Maiese EM, Sullivan SD. Increasing Pharmaceutical Copayments: impact on Asthma Medication Utilization and Outcomes. Am J Manag Care. 2011 Oct;17(10):703-10.
  • Stokes M, Becker WJ, Lipton RB, Sullivan SD, Wilcox TK, Wells L, Manack A, Proskorovsky I, Gladstone J, Buse DC, Varon SF, Goadsby PJ, Blumenfeld AM. Cost of Healthcare Among Patients With Chronic and Episodic Migraine in Canada and the USA: Results From the International Burden of Migraine Study (IBMS). Headache. 2011 Jul-Aug;51(7):1058-77.
  • Morden NE, Sullivan SD, Bartle B, Lee TA. Skeletal health in men with chronic lung disease: Rates of testing, treatment and fractures. Osteoporos Int. 2011 Jun;22(6):1855-62.
  • Nagy B, Brennan A, Thomas SK, Sullivan SD, Akehurst R. Assessing the cost-effectiveness of the rivastigmine transdermal patch for Alzheimer’s disease in the UK using MMSE- and ADL-based models. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 May;26(5):483-94.
  • Sullivan SD, Ramsey SD, Blough DK, McDermott CL, Clarke L, McCune JS. Health Care Use and Primary Prophylaxis with Colony-Stimulating Factors. Value Health. 2011 Mar-Apr;14(2):247-52.
  • Hansen RN, Oster G, Edelsberg J, Woody GE, Sullivan SD. Economic Costs of Non-Medical Use of Prescription Opioids. Clin J Pain. 2011 Mar-Apr;27(3):194-202.
  • Bloudek LM, Spackman DE, Blankenberg M, Sullivan SD. Review and meta-analysis of biomarkers and diagnostic imaging in Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;26(4):627-45.
  • Sullivan SD, Garrison LP Jr, Rinde H, Kolberg J, Moler EJ. Cost-effectiveness of risk stratification for preventing type 2 diabetes using a multi-marker diabetes risk score. J Med Econ. 2011;14(5):609-16.
  • Bloudek LM, Spackman DE, Veenstra DL, Sullivan SD. CDR State Transition Probabilities in Alzheimer’s Disease with and without Cholinesterase Inhibitor Intervention in an Observational Cohort. J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;24(3):599-607.
  • Devine EB, Alfonso-Cristancho R, Sullivan SD. Effectiveness of biologic therapies for rheumatoid arthritis: an indirect comparisons approach. Pharmacotherapy. 2011 Jan;31(1):39-51.