UIC Leads Chicago Consortium to Study Effectivess of Health Services


A consortium of Chicago institutions coordinated by the University of Illinois at Chicago is one of 11 new centers nationwide designated by the Department of Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to support research on patient-centered outcomes of health care with a focus on comparing clinical effectiveness.

Among 13 groups initially chosen in 2005, the Chicago group is one of eight to be selected to continue for the second phase of the DEcIDE (Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions about Effectiveness) program.

The 11 current DEcIDE centers will compete amongst each other for agency projects.

The Chicago consortium's primary members are UIC, including the colleges of Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing, the School of Public Health, the UIC Center for Pharmacoeconomic Research, the Institute for Health Research and Policy and the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences; the University of Chicago; Northwestern University; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care, and the Pharmacy Benefits Management Group; and Blue Cross-Blue Shield.

Glen Schumock, professor and director of UIC's Center for Pharmacoeconomic Research, will coordinate the local network. Simon Pickard, UIC associate professor of pharmacy administration, and David Meltzer, associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, will serve as deputy principal investigators.

The AHRQ initiated the DEcIDE centers to assist the federal government in evaluating the Medicare Part D drug benefit, with the mandate for such evaluation included in the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003.

The Chicago DEcIDE Center has completed five projects since its inception. One developed a way to identify which drugs most need of study of their off-label use and offered a top-priority list of 14 candidates. Another task order determined how two methods of medication therapy management affected safety outcomes in patients 65 years and older, taking multiple medications, and at high risk for adverse drug events. Another researched the effectiveness of drug therapies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

This news release was written by Sam Hostettler, associate director of UIC News Bureau.

The Center for Pharmacoeconomic Research was renamed by the Illinois Board of Higher Education as the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomic Research.