Joshua Brown, Pharm.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy, has received the 2017 Research Starter Grant in Health Outcomes from the PhRMA Foundation. The foundation presented the award at the 2017 ISPOR Annual International Meeting in Boston on May 24.
His award-winning research proposal was titled “Comparative effectiveness of direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF): Contrasting methodological approaches using real-world data.”
“This award was exciting to receive especially since I have not been faculty for even a year yet,” Brown said. “The grant will allow me to focus more on my research and set myself up for success through future grant applications.”
His research aims to compare different DOAC medications to each other, developing data on their comparative safety and effectiveness. Previous clinical trials have just compared DOAC medications to warfarin.
The research has a second purpose: to standardize methodology among this field of study to ensure researchers arrive at consistent conclusions. “When two studies are evaluating the same question but with different methodologies and show different results, this can confuse readers and make it difficult to make decisions using these studies,” Brown said. “At the extreme, some of these methodological choices can introduce significant bias.”
Brown hopes the research can add real-world evidence for the safety and effectiveness of DOACs, especially in vulnerable patient populations. The methodological approach and evaluation aspect could have broader impact and be part of the ongoing discussion about how comparative effectiveness research can be used by regulatory agencies, pharmaceutical companies, managed care organizations and clinicians to improve patient care.