National Pharmaceutical Council and Duke-Margolis Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Health Care Policy

Background

The U.S. health care system is in the midst of rapid change. While Congress and the private sector debate ways to optimally provide care and value to patients and the American public, health care decision makers are already taking steps to provide value to patients and society. As our health system shifts from volume to value, assessing, incentivizing and paying for value are important and complex issues. This paradigm shift in the U.S. health care system raises many questions as stakeholders address new and old challenges facing our health care system. Among these are the struggle patients face in accessing the care they need due to a rapidly growing logistical and financial burden, the fragmented nature of our health system and the challenges it presents in shifting spending from low value to high value care, public concerns about affordability that threaten sustained biopharmaceutical innovation and equitable care, and the suboptimal use of evidence to assess the impact of health care interventions, care delivery initiatives and health reform policies.

Although many programs train researchers, the interface between research and policy analysts offers a unique opportunity for the successful fellowship candidate. This fellowship will enable the candidate to explore the policy implications health services research as well as how to design studies to help inform policy options. It is anticipated that upon completion of the program, the Fellow would have the skills to identify, critically assess, including understanding the intended and unintended policy consequences of health care delivery changes, and pose policy relevant research solutions for the challenges facing our evolving health care system. It is our expectation 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 Duke Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy was established in January 2016. The Center’s mission is to improve health and the value of health care by developing and implementing evidence-based policy solutions locally, nationally, and globally. Connecting the intellectual resources at Duke University with policymakers and policy analysts in the public and private sector, the Center spans academic disciplines to bring promising ideas in health care reform into the implementation of health policy. Duke-Margolis partners with funders and experts in health care policy and practice from around the world and is advised by an accomplished board of health care leaders representing academia, patients, policy research, payers, and providers. The Center has offices and staff on Duke University’s campus in Durham, North Carolina and at the Duke in DC offices in the heart of the nation’s capital.

Duke-Margolis Research Portfolio:

  • Health care Transformation: Duke-Margolis has a broad policy research portfolio at the local, state, national and global level focused on evidence-based strategies for improving the quality and value of health care as defined by multiple stakeholders, including patients and caregivers. Focus areas include empirical analysis of health care policy, partnerships with states to identify best practices for public payers, improving population health, new care and payment models for advanced and complex illness, national and global thought leadership, and clinical pathway reform.
  • Biomedical Innovation: The Center’s biomedical innovation policy research focuses on real-world evidence development, assessing the value of health technologies, value-based payment design for drugs and devices, and improving the science of development and review. These include best practices for using sources of real-world data including the FDA’s Sentinel System, patient-generated data, and data from mobile health apps and wearables in regulatory and payment decisions. Duke-Margolis has established a broad consortium of stakeholders focused on developing value-based payment design for pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and gene therapies. Regulatory sciences efforts focusing on improving methods in rare disease drug development, advancing the science of patient input, informing FDA’s approach to qualifying development tools, exploring technical approaches to benefit-risk assessment and evaluating the public health impact of post-market safety labeling changes.

The National Pharmaceutical Council is a health policy research organization, dedicated to the advancement of good evidence and science and to fostering an environment in the U.S. that supports medical innovation. It is funded by the pharmaceutical industry but does not engage in lobbying or other advocacy type activities. NPC typically has over 25-30 active projects underway at any time, publishes a daily comparative effectiveness research newsfeed, conducts educational conferences, authors numerous peer-reviewed articles each year and participates in nationally recognized conferences. The Fellow will have the opportunity to engage with colleagues regularly from many backgrounds including economics, medicine, health and public policy, and business. NPC staff has prior experience within government, biopharmaceutical companies, payers, consulting groups and academic institutions. NPC has the research capabilities and domain knowledge to help shape the Fellow’s future career.

The post-doctoral fellow will have a unique research and policy experience in the Washington DC environment. The Fellow will have exposure to academic mentors and those conducting policy research in non-academic environments.

Fellowship Description

Duration: 2 years

Overview: The program would entail:

  • Conducting at least one core policy related research project that may be in conjunction with new or ongoing NPC research with an expectation that it would lead to first-authored peer-reviewed publication(s)
  • Opportunities to collaborate with other policy research groups in Washington, D.C.
  • Engagement with relevant government agencies, academic institutions, and industry representatives on health policy related to pharmaceuticals as well as additional topics
  • Potential guest lecture opportunities on health policy related to pharmaceuticals
  • Mentoring by members of NPC’s research group and the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy
  • Coordinating a journal club discussion with health care policy and research leaders
  • Attendance at relevant national conferences

Candidate characteristics: PhD, MD, or PharmD-level individual with research skills and a desire to understand and study the health policy implications as they pertain to pharmaceuticals in the new health care environment. This is an early career fellowship, thus preferences will be for candidates who have completed their doctoral degree after January 1, 2012. Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Location: The Fellow will be based in Washington, D.C., and will have an office at NPC and temporary office space at the Duke-Margolis Washington, D.C., office. They will also periodically travel to Durham, North Carolina, to engage with members of Duke-Margolis at Duke University.

Compensation: Includes a competitive base salary and benefits package, a computer, and travel to relevant national conferences.

Organizational Structure: The Fellow will be an employee of NPC and will have an academic mentor at Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy.

Application Instructions: Applications for the next Fellow of Health Care Policy are now open. Applicants must submit a cover letter or statement, resume, and a research paper or writing sample. Applications should be sent (electronically preferred) to PolicyFellowship@npcnow.org. Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled. Applications received by January 15, 2018 will receive priority review. The fellowship will begin July 1, 2018.