Conference Program

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Keynote speakers

Jesper Hallas
Jesper Hallas graduated as an MD from University of Copenhagen in 1984. He has a background in clinical medicine as a specialist in internal medicine, medical gastroenterology and clinical pharmacology. Jesper established the first pharmacoepidemiological prescription database in Denmark, OPED, based on reimbursed prescriptions from Funen County in Denmark (1990 and onwards). He was one of the co-founders of the Danish Society of Pharmacoepidemiology and became its first president in 1994. Since 2004, Jesper has been a professor of clinical pharmacology at University of Southern Denmark, the first four years also filling a position as consultant in internal medicine at Odense University Hospital. He has been an ISPE member for about 20 years and has served ISPE in a number of ways, among others as program chair for the annual meeting in Copenhagen in 2008, as chair of the Public Policy Committee in 2011-14 and as president 2017-18. Jesper has used the OPED database for developing a variety of analytic templates and principles, such as the symmetry analysis, the waiting time distribution and the principles underlying the individual-level drug use statistics He has more than 270 publications within the fields of clinical medicine, clinical epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology.

Dr. Stephen B. Soumerai
Stephen B. Soumerai is Professor of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, where he focuses on pharmaceutical outcomes, quality of health care studies and health policy. He also co-chaired the Statistics and Evaluative Sciences concentration within Harvard University’s health policy Ph.D. program for over 20 years, and continues as an active faculty member in the concentration. Dr. Soumerai has led or been a member of numerous NIH and international peer review committees. Dr. Soumerai is the recipient of many honors including numerous article of the year awards from national and international scientific societies, named lectureships, and the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard University.

Dr. Soumerai has published more than 250 original scientific articles in leading scientific journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. He is well known for his work on the impacts of health policies and methods to improve the quality of medical practice. His recent research has focused on cost-related underuse of medications; as well as the impacts of drug coverage, FDA warnings and cost-containment policies on access to effective medications, quality and costs of care and clinical outcomes among vulnerable populations. He frequently advises Congress, state legislatures, and federal and international agencies on drug cost containment, coverage and quality-of-care policies, and evidence-based health policy. His research has been used extensively to support expanded economic access to medications in Medicaid and Medicare.

Dr. Soumerai’s work also focuses on common biases in research designs, the unreliability of health research, and improving the evidence base for health policies. Dr. Soumerai has published numerous op-eds in leading news outlets, including Vox News, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, and Stat News on subjects including elimination of coverage gaps in the Medicare drug benefit, adverse consequences of rushed nationwide implementation of health IT, undertreatment of pain, required drug coverage in Massachusetts health reform plans, state censorship of health research, poor efficacy of pay-for-performance policies, and arbitrary economic penalties for hospital readmissions.

Prof. Ian C. K. Wong
Ian Wong is Professor of Pharmacy of the UCL School of Pharmacy and Honorary Professor of Pediatrics of University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on the application of large databases for phamacoepidemiology and drug safety research. He also has special interest in medicines for children research.