Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing

Center News

We recently had the bittersweet task of saying goodbye to Center Faculty Affiliate Dr. Utibe Essien as he headed to the West coast for a new position as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Since joining CP3 in 2019, we’ve watched Dr. Essien become a force in the world of health equity research, publishing paper after paper and appearing on countless podcasts. We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Essien for coining the term “pharmacoequity” and enhancing CP3’s mission to improve medication access for all. We wish Dr. Essien all the best at UCLA and look forward to continued collaboration on pharmacoequity research.

Faculty Affiliate Dr. Aimee Pickering was selected for the Pepper Scholar Program within the Division of Geriatric Medicine. Dr. Pickering’s project, entitled "Applying Implementation Science Principles to Deprescribing Diabetes Medications in Older Adults," began in January and will develop an implementation strategy bundle aimed at deprescribing potentially harmful medications in older adults with diabetes. Mentors on the project are Drs. Tom Radomski, Walid Gellad, and Shari Rogal.

CP3 Associate Director Dr. Katie Suda earned yet another recognition for her work. The Journal of the American Pharmacists Association named Dr. Suda an Outstanding Author for the quality of her submissions to the journal over the past year. She is also part of the National Academy of Medicine panel to evaluate the effects of opioids and benzodiazepines on Veteran mortality. Congratulations, Dr. Suda!


Research Highlights

AMIA Informatics Summit

Attendees of the American Medical Informatics Association’s 2023 Informatics Summit had the opportunity to learn how to leverage health data to better care for patients with substance use. NIDA Program Officer Dr. Tamara Haegerich invited several grant recipients to lead a workshop called, “Data science opportunities and challenges in risk prediction and clinical decision support using electronic health and prescribing data to address substance use-related morbidity and mortality.” Dr. Jonathan Arnold presented the CP3 project Machine-Learning Prediction and Reducing Overdoses with EHR Nudges (mPROVEN), and former CP3 postdoc Dr. Jenny Lo-Ciganic discussed her companion project DEMONSTRATE.

HumAn-1 Trial

The HumAn-1 Trial continues to move forward at lightning speed. PI Dr. Jing Luo, Project Manager Dr. Abigail Foulds, and collaborators from the Brigham and CHAI recently traveled to Mwanza, Tanzania to train local project staff on the study protocol and participant recruitment expected to begin this Spring. The project is fortunate to have Dr. Edna Siima Majaliwa (pictured below, far left), one of only a handful of pediatric endocrinologists in Tanzania, and Dr. Kaushik Ramaiya (pictured below, center), a well-known expert on diabetes, on the team. During the visit, a local news station covered the project. The project is also actively recruiting participants in Bangladesh. Read more about the HumAn-1 trial here.

(Pictured below: the Pitt, Brigham, CHAI, and Tanzania study team)

Selected Recently Published Papers


Electronic Prior Authorization for Prescription Drugs — Challenges and Opportunities for Reform
Jing Luo, M.D., M.P.H., and Walid F. Gellad, M.D., M.P.H.
NEJM, March 4, 2023

COVID-19 pandemic and trends in new diagnosis of atrial fibrillation: A nationwide analysis of claims data
Inmaculada Hernandez, Meiqi He, Jingchuan Guo, Mina Tadrous, Nico Gabriel, Gretchen Swabe, Walid F. Gellad, Utibe R. Essien, Samir Saba, Emelia J. Benjamin, Jared W. Magnani
PLoS One, February 2, 2023

Recreational cannabis and opioid distribution
Shyam Raman, Johanna Catherine Maclean, W. David Bradford, Coleman Drake
Health Economics, January 18, 2023

Real-world weight-loss effectiveness of glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists among patients with type 2 diabetes: A retrospective cohort study
Gretchen E. White, Ingrid Shu, David Rometo, Jon Arnold, Mary Korytkowski, Jing Luo
Obesity, January 9, 2023

Trends in Dispensed Prescriptions for Opioids, Sedatives, Benzodiazepines, Gabapentin, and Stimulants to Children by General Dentists, 2012-2019
Katherine Callaway Kim, Tumader Khouja, Jacqueline M. Burgette, Charlesnika T. Evans, Gregory S. Calip, Walid F. Gellad, Katie J. Suda
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, December 27, 2022

Assessment of Care Cascades Following Low-Value Prostate-Specific Antigen Testing Among Veterans Dually Enrolled in the US Veterans Health Administration and Medicare Systems
Aimee N. Pickering, MD, MS; Xinhua Zhao, PhD; Florentina E. Sileanu, MS; Elijah Z. Lovelace, MS; Liam Rose, PhD; Aaron L. Schwartz, MD, PhD; Allison H. Oakes, PhD; Jennifer A. Hale, BS; Loren J. Schleiden, MS; Walid F. Gellad, MD, MPH; Michael J. Fine, MD, MSc; Carolyn T. Thorpe, PhD, MPH; Thomas R. Radomski, MD, MS
JAMA Network Open, December 15, 2022

Reforming Reimbursement for the US Food and Drug Administration's Accelerated Approval Program to Support State Medicaid Programs
Rachel E. Sachs, JD, MPH; Julie M. Donohue, PhD; Stacie B. Dusetzina, PhD
JAMA Health Forum, November 18, 2022


In the Media

States are exploring solutions to manage high insulin costs. “These proposed solutions are definitely a step in the right direction and address a big harm, which is when people ration because of affordability,” CP3 Faculty Affiliate Dr. Jing Luo told The Pew Charitable Trusts. Dr. Luo also spoke with Pittsburgh’s WTAE about the importance of insulin and how recent price changes might impact patients.


Several of our Faculty Affiliates also conduct research at the VA and presented their work at the HSR&D/QUERI National Meeting in February.
• Evaluating Implementation of Guidelines to Prevent Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacterales in VA Medical Centers, Charlesnika Evans, PhD, MPH (with Katie Suda, PharmD, MS)
• Representation of Women and Racial and Ethnic Minority Individuals among Reviewers and Awardees for Intramural Research Funding in the Veterans Health Administration, Taylor Boyer, MPH (with Katie Suda, PharmD, MS)
• Improving Veteran Health by Increasing Dental Stewardship of Antibiotics and Opioids, Katie Suda, PharmD, MS
• The Use and Cost of Low-Value Services Delivered to Veterans through the Veterans Health Administration and Medicare, Thomas Radomski, MD, MS

In February, CP3 Associate Director Dr. Katie Suda traveled to Montreux, Switzerland to speak at the World Health Organization’s Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety.  Her presentation, “Impact of the CoVID-19 pandemic and the AMR Global Action Plan on antibiotic use and resistance” was part of a panel on Medication safety & stewardship – the example of antibiotic use and misuse.


On March 17, join us for a seminar featuring work by two of our faculty. See our events page for more information.


Our Pharmacoequity Conference is returning with more speakers, more collaborations, and more opportunities to network with folks leading the way for health equity. Check back on the conference page for updates!


We're Hiring!


We are looking for someone who loves to tell stories with data and who has a knack for science communication. This person will work with our faculty to illustrate research findings, create dynamic data visualizations, and create web and other content. Contact us to learn more or apply now!



We are looking for someone with a PhD or PharmD and experience in pharmacoepidemiology to join our team. This person will collaborate with our faculty on opioid risk prediction and other innovative research projects, as well as seek their own funding to develop their portfolio. Contact us to learn more or apply now!

University of Pittsburgh