Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing

Center News

Welcome, Dr. Park

We recently welcomed a new Faculty Affiliate to our Center. Tae Woo (Ted) Park, MD is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Pitt and an addiction psychiatrist. His research focuses on overdose in patients using opioids--particularly with concurrent benzodiazepine use--as well as addiction treatment in general medical settings.

Research Highlight - HumAn-1

It’s been a whirlwind year since Pitt was awarded a grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to conduct the Human vs. Analogue Insulin for Youth with Type 1 Diabetes in Low-Resource Settings (HumAn-1) trial. This project will compare insulin glargine with human insulin among children and young adults living with Type 1 diabetes in lower resource settings. In that time, PI Dr. Jing Luo has assembled a team at Pitt, including Project Manager Dr. Abigail Foulds and Research Assistant Laurien Sibomana, and together, they’ve worked with investigators and study partners at Pitt and other institutions to prepare to recruit study participants in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Members of the US team have met in person with teams in both study sites; most recently, they met at BIRDEM Hospital in Dhaka to train local project staff on the study protocol and participant recruitment expected to begin by the end of this year. Read more about the HumAn-1 trial here

Below, pictured (L-R): Dr. Abigail Foulds (Pitt Project Manager), Dr. Bedowra Zabeen (Bangladesh PI), Kamrul Huda (Bangladesh Program Manager), Dr. Jing Luo (Pitt PI), Dr. Sylvia Kehlenbrink (co-PI from Brigham), Dr. Sanjana Kattera (Harvard Research Fellow), Dr. Eimhin Ansbro (London School of Health and Tropical Medicine), Dr. Bruce Rollman (Pitt Steering Committee)

Grants Funded

PDMP Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) Opioid Overdose Surveillance

Since 2020, faculty and analysts from CP3 and Pitt Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics have collaborated with PA Department of Health (PADOH) staff to use Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) and other data to develop an algorithm to more accurately predict risk of having a fatal overdose in the six months following an opioid prescription fill. Led by Director Dr. Walid Gellad, CP3’s collaboration with PADOH has been so successful that PADOH has extended the contract an additional year. The teams will use that time to continue to explore ways to use the algorithm to strengthen current overdose prevention efforts, investigate additional data sources and outcomes, and create visual representations of community risk levels.

Pediatric Adverse Event Risk Reduction for High Risk Medications in Children and Adolescents: Improving Pediatric Patient Safety in Dental Practices

Despite the risks associated with prescribing certain medications—such as opioids and general anesthetics—to children and adolescents, dentists continue to routinely prescribe them, even when they don’t have a patient’s complete medical history. A new NIH R01 awarded to CP3 Associate Director Dr. Katie Suda aims to change that. She and her team will dive into dentists’ risky prescribing patterns to pediatric patients and the dentists’ attitudes surrounding prescribing. Using what they learn, the team will construct tools to assist dentists to make safer decisions when prescribing risky medications to their younger patients.

Selected Recently Published Papers


Pharmaceutical Spending in Fee-for-Service Medicare: Looking Ahead to the Inflation Reduction Act
Walid F. Gellad, MD, MPH; Inmaculada Hernandez, PharmD, PhD
JAMA, October 18, 2022

The US Medicaid Program: Coverage, Financing, Reforms, and Implications for Health Equity
Julie M. Donohue, PhD; Evan S. Cole, PhD; Cara V. James, PhD; Marian Jarlenski, PhD, MPH; Jamila D. Michener, PhD; Eric T. Roberts, PhD
JAMA, September 20, 2022

Beyond Detecting and Understanding Disparities in Novel Diabetes Treatment: Need for a Major Shift in Pharmacoequity Research
Utibe R. Essien, MD, MPH; Donna L. Washington, MD, MPH; Michael J. Fine, MD, MSc
JAMA, September 6, 2022

Trends in Out-of-Pocket Cost of Glucagon, 2010-2020
Margaret Zupa, MD; Robert Feldman, MS; Jing Luo, MD
JAMA Network Open, August 30, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act: One step closer to pharmacoequity?
Utibe R. Essien
STAT, August 19, 2022

The feasibility of academic detailing for acute oral pain management in outpatient dentistry: A pilot study
Ashley M Hughes, Erica Lin, Raza A Hussain, Gretchen Gibson, M Marianne Jurasic, Lisa K Sharp, Colin C Hubbard, Linda E Poggensee, Charlesnika T Evans, Jessina C McGregor, Walid F Gellad, Katie J Suda
Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, August 5, 2022

Effect of Different Interventions to Help Primary Care Clinicians Avoid Unsafe Opioid Prescribing in Opioid-Naive Patients With Acute Noncancer Pain: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial
Kevin L. Kraemer, MD, MSc; Andrew D. Althouse, PhD; Melessa Salay, MPH; Adam J. Gordon, MD, MPH; Eric Wright, PharmD, MPH; David Anisman, MD; Gerald Cochran, PhD, MSW; Gary Fischer, MD; Walid F. Gellad, MD, MPH; Megan Hamm, PhD; Melissa Kern, MPH; Ajay D. Wasan, MD, MSc
JAMA Health Forum, July 29, 2022


In the Media

CP3 Director Dr. Walid Gellad continues to be a resource when the media needs expert opinion on Covid vaccines and treatments. He spoke with The Atlantic about the White House's announcement on annual COVID-19 boosters, with Politico about Paxlovid and Covid boosters, and with Science and the New York Times about boosters.

Insulin pricing authority Dr. Jing Luo took to the NPR airwaves to explain how the Inflation Reduction Act will affect insulin prices. You can catch the recording here. You may also have caught Dr. Luo elsewhere explaining why insulin has such a high price tag and why the Senate bill isn’t guaranteed to lower insulin prices.


In September, CP3 Director Dr. Walid Gellad joined the NIH’s Clinical Trials Network to present ongoing work to develop two separate risk prediction models and to implement them into different practice settings. Former CP3 postdoc Dr. Jenny Lo-Ciganic also presented the risk prediction she leads out of the University of Florida. These projects continue the collaboration the duo began with their first risk prediction grant.


This Friday, join us for a seminar featuring work by two of our students. See our events page for more information.


Attending the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting? Don’t miss the presentation shown below describing our work to develop and implement an overdose risk prediction model in Allegheny County.


University of Pittsburgh