Assessing Country Medicines Situations

Measuring Country Medicines Situations

For many years, DPM faculty members have provided technical assistance to the World Health Organization, the UK Department for International Development (DFID)-supported Medicines Transparency Alliance, the USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program, the Gates Foundation-funded Sustainable Drug Seller Initiatives (SDSI), and others in the development of standardized tools to measure important aspects of country pharmaceutical situations.

Specialty Medicines Research

Specialty medicines, many of which are products of biotechnology advances, can provide novel and potentially life-changing treatment options for a growing number of serious conditions, including cancers and inflammatory diseases.  At the same time, the increasingly high costs of specialty medicines represent an enormous economic burden to patients and society.  Allocating scarce resources to specialty medicines involves many difficult ethical and economic decisions for both families and payers.

Medicines and Insurance Coverage (MedIC) Initiative Research

The Medicines and Insurance Coverage (MedIC) Initiative is a unique partnership between academics, health care delivery systems, health care financing institutions, and international organizations.  We seek to improve population health through evidence-informed medicines policies and programs in health systems, with a particular focus on emerging and expanding insurance schemes in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) working toward universal health coverage.


MedIC activities focus on

Cancer Care Delivery and Policy

The cancer research program at the Department of Population Medicine spans the spectrum of cancer from prevention, diagnosis, and treatment to survivorship and palliative care. The research portfolio includes studies of a broad variety of defined populations and a range of clinical, health services, and policy research areas using a range of innovative research methods. For more information about our cancer research activities, please see the Cancer Research Homepage.

Improving the Quality of Clinical and Health Policy Research

For over two decades, DPRG faculty have been at the forefront of efforts to upgrade the quality of research methods (especially research designs) to improve the validity of non-randomized evaluations of large-scale natural experiments that cannot be randomized (e.g., Medicare Part D and nationwide cost-containment policies of national and state health reform). Unfortunately, we know little about the risks and benefits of such interventions, particularly for the poor and the sick.

Mental Health Treatment

DPRG has focused much of its research on patients with psychiatric illnesses and their care, due to these patients’ special vulnerability to disruptions caused by administrative or financial changes, and the substantial heterogeneity in responses of patients to specific psychotropic treatments.