PhRMA Foundation Awards Comparative Effectiveness Grants

Washington, D.C. (December 1, 2011) — The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Foundation today announced that Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington will each receive a $250,000 grant to establish a three-year graduate certificate program.  This program is formally known as the PhRMA Foundation Center of Excellence for a Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Educational Program.

The program’s goal is to initiate the process of organizing, building, and delivering university based M.S. and Ph.D. curricular programs in U.S. colleges and schools to instill knowledge and hone CER skills in students.  These students will eventually teach, research, and interpret CER to better patient outcomes.  The new grant – which will be awarded annually – will also help support programs for high-quality CER, such as those under way at the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, by giving researchers and practitioners the educational tools they need to help carry out CER studies.

“In an effort to attract well-qualified candidates to the growing field of CER and build a strong foundation for such patient-centered research, we awarded – for the first time ever – a grant to top educational institutions to develop a graduate-level curriculum around CER,” said Jean Paul Gagnon, chairman, Comparative Effectiveness Research Advisory Committee, PhRMA Foundation.  “While there were several excellent candidates that applied for the grant, this year’s recipients were chosen because they displayed strong track records conducting CER and demonstrated a commitment to advancing the field through related activities.”

CER examines the clinical effectiveness, benefits and risks of different medical or health care interventions, including drugs, medical technology, or approaches to organizing and managing health care.  The results of these comparison studies are used by medical professionals to make informed health care determinations with the goal of improving patient care. 

"My colleagues and I at the University of Washington are very excited and pleased to be launching a Graduate Certificate Program in Comparative Effectiveness Research with the support of the PhRMA Foundation,” said Lou Garrison, Ph.D., professor and associate director, Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research & Policy Program, University of Washington. “As we move into this new era of patient-centered, real-world outcomes research with active stakeholder engagement, there is a tremendous need for newly trained researchers to take advantage of these new opportunities and to address critical methodological and information needs."

“The faculty members of the Center for Healthcare Services and Outcomes Research at Johns Hopkins University are excited to develop a Center of Excellence in Comparative Effectiveness Research Education,” said Jodi B. Segal, M.D., MPH, associate professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University.  “We are beginning by developing a certificate program in comparative effectiveness research that will be available to degree and non-degree students. Concurrently, we will be converting two of our CER-relevant courses so that they are accessible through the Hopkins online learning program; and we will prepare a series of seminars that will be available via a video archive to all viewers.”

As part of the grant, both universities are required to collaborate with one another to help produce high caliber comparative effectiveness researchers and practitioners who interpret and use research results to help improve health outcomes.  For more information about the criterion for the award, go here.

For 46 years, the PhRMA Foundation has supported the field of drug discovery and the careers of scientific investigators, faculty members and physicians.  By funding the research of more than 2,200 young scientists, the Foundation has helped pave the way for the future of biopharmaceutical care.