BIOGRAPHY

Niteesh K. Choudhry, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Physician in the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics and the Hospitalist Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital. His research focuses on the development and evaluation of novel strategies to improve health care quality and reduce spending and he is particularly interested in the clinical and economic consequences of using evidence-based therapies for the management of common chronic conditions and in designing strategies to overcome barriers to treatment initiation and long-term medication adherence. He leads a multidisciplinary research program funded by CVS Caremark to study medication adherence, the cost-effectiveness of medical technologies and comparative effectiveness research and collaborates with a wide range of insurers, employers and health delivery systems. 

Much of his recent work has dealt with the impact of medication costs and drug benefit design on the use of and adherence to evidence-based medications.  Dr. Choudhry was the principal investigator of the Post-MI Free Rx and Event and Economic Evaluation (MI FREEE) trial, which was a randomized policy trial based on economic models he and his colleagues constructed to evaluate the clinical and economic benefits of reducing patient cost-sharing for medications of proven efficacy. This nationwide trial found that providing full drug coverage for evidence-based cardiovascular medication reduced rates of major vascular events, improved adherence, lowered patient out-of-pocket spending, and did not increase insurer costs.  On this basis, Aetna has changed their benefits to waive medication copayments for post-MI secondary prevention medications.

Dr. Choudhry's ongoing work explores other methods to enhance the use of evidence-based therapies by simplifying medication access, using reminder systems and social supports, incorporating adherence improvement interventions into routine primary care practices and employing financial incentives based on behavioral economics theories.  He is currently in the process of design and implementing several large simple insurer and delivery-system based randomized trials to evaluate the potential value of these strategies.  Included among these is the Synchronization to Improve Non-Adherence to Cardiovascular Medications (SyNCMed) trial, which is evaluating the impact of consolidating medication refilling on adherence to evidence-based medications.

While his work has centered on pharmaceuticals, Dr. Choudhry's interests also include other methods of enhancing health care quality and he is involved in designing and evaluating a variety of care innovations including retail clinics, ambulatory ICUs, methods to identify and target patients who would benefit from quality improvement interventions using electronic health data and mobile technologies to facilitate patient-provider interaction. He has also conducted evaluations of other quality improvement strategies introduced by large insurers and employers and has evaluated the cost-effectiveness of new technologies.

He has published over 140 peer-articles in leading medical and policy journals and has won awards from AcademyHealth, the Society of General Internal Medicine, the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, and the National Institute of Health Care Management for his research.  He lectures frequently throughout the U.S. and internationally on medication adherence, the economic evaluation of medical technologies and comparative effectiveness research.

Dr. Choudhry attended McGill University and then received his M.D. and did his residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto. He served as Chief Medical Resident for the Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals and was also Director of the Medical Clerkship Program at the Toronto General Hospital. He did his Ph.D. in Health Policy at Harvard University, with a concentration in statistics and the evaluative sciences, where he was a Frank Knox Memorial and Canadian Institutes of Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellow.   He was also a Fellow in Pharmaceutical Policy Research at Harvard Medical School.

His work is funded by CVS Caremark, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, the Aetna Foundation, the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research and others.

Dr. Choudhry practices inpatient general internal/hospital medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital.  He is actively involved in resident education and has won numerous teaching awards. 

To access a curriculum vitae, click here.