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New UIC center to study drug choices, safety
Date:10/16/2007

The University of Illinois at Chicago has been named one of 10 new centers in the United States to study how consumers and clinicians make critical treatment decisions about therapeutic products and interventions.

UIC's new center is part of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics, or CERTS program. It will design and test systems to optimize drug choice, monitoring and safety, said Bruce Lambert, UIC professor of pharmacy administration and director of the new center.

"The United States health care system suffers from ongoing problems of underuse, overuse and misuse of drugs, with unacceptably high rates of preventable errors, harmful side effects and bad patient health outcomes," Lambert said.

"We propose to improve these outcomes by improving systems for choosing the best drugs for each medical condition, by more carefully monitoring how drugs are used, by linking laboratory and pharmacy information systems, by scientifically testing alternative treatments for individual patients, and by using economic experts to better understand the costs and benefits of all of these activities."

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded $41.6 million over the next four years to create a new coordinating center and the 10 new research centers. The coordinating center will be housed at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. UIC will receive $4 million to conduct the research.

With the addition of the 10 new centers, the CERTS program now has 14. The previous four were part of a $9.2 million grant awarded in fiscal 2006.

The CERTS program was authorized by Congress in 1997 to examine the benefits, risks and cost-effectiveness of therapeutic products; educate patients, consumers, doctors, pharmacists and other clinical personnel; and improve quality of care, while reducing needless costs
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Contact: Sam Hostettler
samhos@uic.edu
312-355-2522
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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