National Pharmaceutical Council and The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Policy Impact of Comparative Effectiveness
In the past several years, substantial growth has occurred in funding for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER), first with the one-time American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants and more recently with the growing the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) research funding. Moving forward, PCORI will fund approximately $500 million of CER. The National Institutes of Health will likely also increase its clinical trials support in this area. Private payers also have begun to conduct CER.
PCORI has focused recently on the identification of proper methods to conduct CER and its Methodology Committee report outlines 60 standards. It has also raised awareness of how research questions should be identified and the importance of broad stakeholder input. Much less attention has focused on the policy implications of CER. For example,
- How will CER results be incorporated into decisions by public and private payers?
- How can population level results be carefully balanced with the needs of individual patients? How might this affect patients’ access to innovative therapies?
- Who will have access to the databases created by the CER funding?
- Will CER change incentives for innovation by industry?
- Will changes in the payment and delivery environment (and how they use CER) impact how technology is adopted?
- Given skepticism by many about the validity of observational research, will the results of CER be adopted given that PCORI is not likely to fund significant numbers of clinical trials?
Although many academic programs train researchers and Washington, DC, has an adequate supply of policy analysts, few groups think carefully about the types of questions listed above. No graduate or post-graduate program addresses the policy implications of CER. In an effort to address this gap, the National Pharmaceutical Council and the Department of Health Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services are offering a post-doctoral Fellowship in the Policy Impact of Comparative Effectiveness Research. It is anticipated that upon completion of the program, the Fellow would understand the intended and unintended policy consequences of CER and have the capability to pose policy relevant research questions and conduct the work to address them. It is our expectation that this Fellowship will produce individuals who can continue to advance the field in an academic role or provide leadership to payer organizations, industry, or the Government either as employees or as advisors.
The National Pharmaceutical Council has gained a reputation for funding and conducting research at the interface between CER methods and health care policy. It has over 20 active projects underway, publishes the CER Daily Newsfeed, conducts conferences, and authors over 10-peer reviewed articles each year. It has the research capabilities and domain knowledge to support this program.
GWU’s Department of Health Policy has extensive experience in understanding the policy implications of legislation and regulation on a Federal and State level. Its faculty provides regular input to the Executive and Legislative branches of the Federal Government, and many of that faculty held or hold senior government positions. It is actively growing its research capabilities. GWU possesses a deep knowledge of how policies are developed, shaped, and adopted which brings a critical perspective to the training of the Fellows.
The combined expertise of NPC and GWU provides post-doctoral students a unique research and policy experience in the Washington, DC, environment.
Duration: 2 years
- At least one core research project conducted by the Fellow with an expectation that it would lead to first-authored peer-reviewed publication(s). It is likely (but not required) that the research project would be in conjunction with new or ongoing NPC research. The research project might also entail collaboration with PCORI, IOM, NPC member companies and/or other policy stakeholders in the Washington DC area.
- Engagement with relevant government agencies, academic institutions, and industry representatives on CER policy and related topics.
- Selected academic courses at GWU (for auditing).
- Potential guest lecture opportunities on CER policy in relevant courses within the GWU School of Public Health and Health Services.
- Mentoring by members of NPC’s research group and GWU’s Health Policy faculty
- Monthly “Journal” club.
- Attendance at relevant national conferences.
Candidate characteristics: PhD, MD, or PharmD-level individual with research skills and a desire to understand and study the policy impact of CER. As an example, an individual with a PhD in health economics would have an appropriate research and healthcare environment background. Since this is an early career fellowship, candidates must have completed their doctoral degree after January 1, 2008. Candidates must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents.
Location: The Fellow would have offices at NPC and GWU.
Compensation: To include a competitive base salary, purchase of a computer, and travel to relevant national conferences.
Organizational Structure: The Fellow would be an employee of NPC and would have an adjunct faculty appointment at the GWU School of Public Health and Health Services, Department of Health Policy.
Application Instructions: Applicants must submit a cover letter or statement, resume, and a sample research paper. Applications should be sent (electronically preferred) to CERFellowship@npcnow.org or NPC/GWU Fellowship Search Committee, National Pharmaceutical Council, 1717 Pennsylvania, Ave., NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20006. Review of applications will begin on January 14, 2013 and will continue until the position is filled. Applications received by January 14, 2013, will receive priority for interview in Washington DC during the 1st quarter of 2013. The fellowship will begin on July 1, 2013.