Leading Researcher on Medication Use in Nursing Homes Joins Northeastern
Associate Professor Becky Briesacher, an international authority on the clinical, economic and policy issues surrounding medication prescribing and reimbursement for older adults who reside in nursing homes joined the Department of Pharmacy and Health Systems Sciences this past fall. Dr. Briesacher, the recipient of well over $ 5 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the author of more than 80 research publications is currently leading two important research efforts at Bouve College. Her first Northeastern project, funded by a $1.8 million award from the NIH, and involving other Bouve College faculty and students, will examine the effects of Part D enrollment policies on the drug coverage, out-of-pocket drug costs, medications and health outcomes of nursing home residents. While reliable and affordable prescription drug coverage is important to nursing home residents who require many medications to manage multiple co-morbid conditions, the Medicare Part D drug program is difficult to join due its complex enrollment requirements. In the second project, also funded by the NIH, Dr. Briesacher and her team will explore the impact of a recent federal government campaign focused on decreasing the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications like quetiapine (seroquel©) in nursing home patients. It remains unclear if a novel targeted campaign like this recent federal effort actually resulted in reduced antipsychotic use and fewer safety-related issues or may in fact have resulted in unintended consequences such as the greater use of other medication classes associated with risk-benefit profiles just as poor as that of the antipychotics.
(Back to SPRING 2015 NEWSLETTER)