African-Americans less likely to receive statin therapy at recommended levels, study finds

June 13, 2018 – Researchers used data from the PALM registry to compare treatment of African-American and white patients.

African-Americans are less likely to receive statin therapy at levels recommended by current guidelines, according to a study by DCRI researchers published this week in JAMA Cardiology.

Michael NannaDemographics, clinical characteristics, socioeconomic status, patient beliefs, and clinician factors all contributed to this discrepancy, the researchers said.

African-American patients are at higher risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, yet previous research has shown that African-Americans are less likely to receive statin therapy when indicated compared with white individuals. The reasons for these differences are not well understood.

In this study, led by Duke Cardiology Fellow Michael Nanna, MD, researchers sought to better understand the treatment patterns of African-Americans receiving statin therapy. To do so, they examined data from the Patient and Provider Assessment of Lipid Management (PALM) registry. PALM is a repository of patients from across the United States with cardiovascular risk factors warranting consideration of lipid-lowering therapies, as well as patients already on statin therapy.

Using the PALM registry, Nanna and his colleagues identified 5,689 patients from 138 health care practices who were eligible for statin therapy. Of these patients, 806 were African-American (14.2 percent) and 4,883 were white (85.8 percent). Among those treated, just 269 African-American patients received statin therapy at the recommended level (33.3 percent), compared to 2,145 white patients (43.9 percent). The median low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels of patients receiving treatment were higher among African-American than white individuals.

The researchers found that African-American patients were less likely than white patients to believe statins were safe (36.2 percent vs. 57.3 percent) or effective (70.0 percent vs. 74.4 percent). African-Americans were also less likely to trust their clinician (82.3 percent vs. 93.8 percent).

These differing beliefs about statins, cholesterol, and medical care may contribute to ongoing disparities in statin therapy, the researchers noted.

“What we found is that this is a complex issue,” Nanna said. “The treatment differences are partially explained by clinical factors but socioeconomic, patient belief and provider characteristics all contributed as well. What this means is that in order to identify how to improve our treatment, we will need to take a multi-dimensional approach.

“Ultimately, we need to build trust with our patients, be consistent in our application of guideline-recommendations and educate both our clinicians and patients on the appropriate therapies for risk reduction.”

In addition to Nanna, other Duke authors included the DCRI’s Ann Marie Navar, MD, PhD; Pearl Zakroysky, MPH; Qun Xiang, MS; Tracy Y.Wang, MD, MHS, MSc; and Eric D. Peterson, MD, MPH.

State Medicaid programs test whether offering incentives increases adoption of healthy behaviors

June 11, 2018 – A new report found early signs of success in incentive programs for healthy behaviors.

State efforts to help Medicaid beneficiaries engage in specific health behaviors show early signs of success, according to a new report. The report, which discovered 18 state Medicaid programs and nearly all Medicaid managed care plans are offering incentives for health behaviors, found that programs targeting preventive services and smoking cessation sparked the most initial success. The analysis was developed by researchers at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The DCRI’s Charlene Wong, MD, was one of the report’s authors.

The programs provide incentives for Medicaid recipients to lose weight, control diabetes, manage blood pressure, attend pregnancy visits, and more. A range of incentives are used, including gift cards, reduced insurance premiums, and monetary penalties. Among the report’s findings:

  • A Wisconsin program saw 22 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries quit smoking after receiving both financial incentives and counseling, compared to quit rates of 14 percent for smokers who only received counseling.
  • Similarly, an Idaho program saw their “well-child visit” rates jump from 40 percent to 66 percent after incentives were offered.

Overall, researchers found substantial variation in the results of the efforts, and limited and mixed evidence on whether the programs are linked to improvements in people’s health. In addition, while states and Medicaid managed care plans devoted significant effort to advertise and inform beneficiaries about the programs, only two states out of 10 participating in a related federal grant program met their enrollment targets. The report considers further administrative challenges for the programs, including higher than expected costs for administration and data systems.

Researchers note that the long-term viability of these incentive programs will depend on more evidence about the effectiveness of these incentives on long-term health outcomes, optimal program design, and the impact on vulnerable populations.

Curtis and Tcheng named to NESTcc data quality subcommittee

June 7, 2018 – The subcommittee will develop data quality standards for NESTcc partners and make recommendations for their implementation.

The DCRI’s Lesley Curtis, PhD, and James Tcheng, MD, have been named to the Data Quality Subcommittee of the National Evaluation System for health Technology Coordinating Center (NESTcc).

Lesley CurtisThe Data Quality Subcommittee and a Methods Subcommittee will develop data quality and methodological standards for the NESTcc Network Collaborators, the organizations partnering with NESTcc to generate and analyze real-world data. The subcommittees will also design processes for demonstrating conformance to the standards and make recommendations for their implementation. These standards will build upon existing bodies of work and leverage subcommittee members’ knowledge and experience from similar initiatives, including PCORnet, Sentinel, and MDEpiNet.

“Our Data Quality and Methods Subcommittees are comprised of national leaders in the areas of data quality and methods standards. Establishing these subcommittees is an essential step in ensuring confidence in the quality of medical device real-world data and real-world evidence generated by partnerships with NESTcc,” said Rachael L. Fleurence, PhD, Executive Director of NESTcc. “We look forward to their counsel and collaboration as NESTcc prepares to launch its first set of industry test cases to demonstrate the functionality of the NESTcc Data Network and we prepare to open the NESTcc Front Door for public inquiries for collaborating with the NESTcc Data Network.”

Curtis, who is the co-lead of the PCORnet Distributed Research Network Operations Center and previously co-led the Data Core for FDA’s Mini-Sentinel Initiative, will chair the Data Quality Subcommittee.

Data Quality Subcommittee Members

  • Jeffrey Brown, PhD, Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare Institute/ Harvard Medical School
  • Lesley Curtis, PhD, MS, Duke University School of Medicine
  • Sarah Horn, PhD, Medtronic
  • John Laschinger, MD, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)/ Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH)/ODE/DCD/SHDB
  • Aaron Lottes, PhD, Cook Research Incorporated
  • Keith Marsolo, PhD, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Frederick Masoudi, MD, MSPH, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Joe Ross, MD, MHS, Yale University
  • Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • James Tcheng, MD, Duke University Health System
  • Charles Viviano, MD, PhD, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)/ Center for Devices and Radiological Health CDRH/ODE/DRGUD

NESTcc was established in 2016 to support the sustainable generation and use of timely, reliable, and cost-effective real-world evidence throughout the medical device lifecycle, using real-world data that meets robust methodological standards and is generated in the course of clinical care and everyday life by patients, providers, or payers, and for the purpose of enhancing regulatory and clinical decision-making.

DCRI-led think tank addresses opportunities and challenges of digital technology in health care

June 4, 2018 – The DCRI brought together national leaders to address the promise and challenges facing digital health technologies in the transformation of health care.

A paper published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology summarized the proceedings of a multi-faceted think tank meeting organized by the DCRI in December 2016 in Washington DC. A cross-section of stakeholders including academics, industry and regulatory representatives convened at the meeting to address both the potential of and challenges facing digital health technologies in the transformation of health care in the United States.

“The primary aims of this meeting were to really understand the landscape of digital technology and how it’s currently being used in health care,” said former DCRI Fellow Abhinav Sharma, MD, first author of the study. “We wanted to dive in deep to identify issues and barriers with regards to the development of these technologies and their adoption, and to identify solutions using perspectives from providers, industry, regulatory agencies, payers and professional societies, to use this innovation to drive better delivery of health care.”

According to Sharma, modern health care is literally shifting from clinics and hospitals to the palm of a patient’s hand. There are many examples of how a patient can now enter information on their cellphone and through a dynamic decision algorithm, find out exactly how they should be treated and medicated from the comfort of a familiar home setting. Digital technology is being used not only as a diagnostic tool, but also as a decision support tool, to recruit patients for clinical trials and for informed consent.

“Digital technology is completely revolutionizing the way that we think about health care,” said Sharma, “and it is becoming so much more necessary as our health care costs explode on an unprecedented scale, increasingly lessening our ability to take in, treat and manage complicated diseases in a traditional brick and mortar hospital setting.”

But with all these potential upsides, there are also countless challenges that need to be addressed. According to Sharma, one of the biggest concerns is health data privacy. With a lot of money being pushed into cellphone apps and other digital platforms, it becomes even more critical to ensure there is some degree of regulation on how health data is utilized and the way it is stored and the privacy that comes along with it, so issues like the ones that have happened with popular social media platforms recently can be avoided.

“Interoperability of data is another major challenge, where health record platforms in multiple institutions have no way of connecting with one another,” said Sharma. “There is also an inherent ‘productivity paradox’, where there is a visible decrease in productivity because people don’t really know how to use all this new technology such as gadgets and devices, and the data generated from them to improve the delivery of health care without losing valuable time, energy and resources,” he said.

“Ultimately, we need to make sure our enthusiasm for technology doesn’t outpace our need to validate them,” said Sharma. “Both users and developers need to weigh all new inventions and devices against their preexisting counterparts and see whether or not they improve upon or increase the quality, cost and use of care in comparison.”

The paper strongly advocates the rapid development and implementation of innovation networks on a local, regional and national scale, combining brainpower from academics, entrepreneurs, agencies, associations/societies and regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration, to review novel technology as soon as it hits the market.

“Digital technology like cellphones have completely revolutionized and changed the way we think about health care,” said Sharma. “When you think of the computational power just in the phone alone, it completely outsmarts most of the computers that we have had in the past.”

According to Sharma, leveraging this phone-based and app-based technology is where a lot of the future is going to be headed. But as digital innovations become more readily available, establishing a proper framework for their appropriate use and rigorous standards of regulation become even more essential.

In addition to Sharma, other authors included Robert A. Harrington, Mark B. McClellan, Mintu P. Turakhia, Zubin J. Eapen, Steven Steinhubl, James R. Mault, Maulik D. Majmudar, Lothar Roessig, Karen J. Chandross, Cheryl A. Boyce, Eric M. Green, Bakul Patel, Andrew Hamer, Jeffrey Olgin, John S. Rumsfeld, Matthew T. Roe and Eric D. Peterson.

Temporarily blocking splanchnic nerve improved outcomes in patients with acute heart failure

May 29, 2018 – A novel intervention acutely reduced intra-cardiac filling pressures and improved cardiac output and patient symptoms.

In a first-in-man proof-of-concept study, DCRI researchers recently tested a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of acute heart failure (HF). Promising results identified the splanchnic nerve as a potential therapeutic target for improvement in acute HF.

Marat FudimDCRI Fellow Marat Fudim, MD, presented the study May 26 at the European Society of Cardiology’s Heart Failure 2018 congress in Vienna, Austria. The DCRI’s Adrian Hernandez, MD, MHS; Schuyler Jones, MD; Cynthia Green, PhD; and Manesh Patel, MD, co-authored the study, which was published simultaneously in Circulation.

The study objective was to assess the effect of a temporary splanchnic nerve block (SNB) on hemodynamic, laboratory, and functional outcomes in patients admitted for acute HF. The trial was prospective, open-label, and included a single-arm intervention in five patients who were hospitalized at Duke University Medical Center between April and November 2017.

Each patient had an established history of HF with elevated intra-cardiac filling pressures on baseline right heart catheterization. The average age was 55 years, four of five patients were male, and ischemic cardiomyopathy was observed in three of the cases. Patients with coagulopathies and those on oral anticoagulants or P2Y inhibitors were excluded.

Five of the seven patients underwent the procedure, which involved a right heart catheterization in the supine position. A bilateral temporary percutaneous SNB with lidocaine was then injected into nerves close to the spine using fluoroscopic guidance in a prone position.

“We basically tried to numb as many nerves as possible going to the abdominal compartment,” said Fudim. “Once the patients were turned back over, we measured pulmonary artery mean and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures for 90 minutes. And what we found was that the pressures dropped immediately – below baseline. And there were no hemodynamic complications, including bleeding.”

Moreover, according to Fudim, patients reported an acute improvement in secondary outcomes during the procedure, including less shortness of breath and an increase in average 6-minute walk distance by 31 meters from immediately before to after the procedure, which however did not meet statistical significance.

The abdominal vascular compartment provides the main storage for intravascular blood volume, and decreased “storage space” could contribute to the complex pathophysiology of HF. Volume overload and inappropriate volume redistribution from the abdominal to the thoracic compartments may increase intra-cardiac pressures and bring on acute HF symptoms, Fudim said.

“Patients with HF essentially push fluid from their belly into the chest, which the heart can’t handle,” he said. “So the question was whether blocking the nerves would shift that fluid from the chest back to the belly – and it did. This is the first time we’ve had evidence of this nerve’s importance – the procedure was able to redistribute the fluid appropriately.”

The minimally invasive and regional nerve block indicated that the splanchnic vascular compartment may play a key role in both acute and chronic HF. These findings suggest that continued research into the use of SNB to treat HF could be of interest, according to Fudim.

“Though promising, however, we’re very cautious to propose this as a therapeutic intervention at this time,” he said. “The procedure can only be performed by an anesthesiologist, and the results are temporary. In addition, the lack of a control group is a major limitation to our study. More testing for safety and efficacy is needed before potential clinical application.”

Califf receives Walter C. Alvarez Award

May 22, 2018 – The award, presented by the American Medical Writers Association, is given for excellence in health care communications.

The American Medical Writers Association announced today that DCRI founder and former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Robert Califf, MD, has received the 2018 Walter C. Alvarez Award. An internationally recognized expert in cardiovascular medicine, health outcomes research, healthcare quality, and clinical research, Califf has led many landmark clinical trials and is one of the most frequently cited authors in biomedical science. He is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Califf is currently the Vice Chancellor for health data science; Director of Duke Forge, Duke University’s multidisciplinary center for actionable health data science; and the Donald F. Fortin, MD, Professor of Cardiology in the Duke University School of Medicine. Additionally, he works as a scientific advisor for Verily Life Sciences, a member of the Alphabet family of companies formed by Google. From 2015 to 2016 he served as Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco, and then as Commissioner of Food and Drugs from 2016-2017 at the FDA.

Named in honor of Walter C. Alvarez, MD, the award is presented annually at the Medical Writing and Communication Conference to honor excellence in communicating health care developments and concepts to the public. Califf will receive his award and give his address on Friday, November 2 at the General Session.

ISPOR honors DCRI’s Reed Johnson with prestigious lifetime achievement award

May 21, 2018 – The award recognizes Johnson’s work in health economics and outcomes research.

The DCRI’s Reed Johnson, PhD, one of the most widely published experts in the field of health applications of stated-preference research, was recently recognized by the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). He has been selected as the recipient of the  Avedis Donabedian Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding, life-long contribution to the improvement of health outcomes.

Johnson was among the honorees for ISPOR’s 2018 Scientific and Leadership Awards, which are designed to foster and recognize excellence and outstanding technical achievement and leadership in health economics and outcomes research. He was presented the award today at ISPOR’s International Conference in Baltimore.

With over 140 publications in books and peer-reviewed journals, Johnson has four decades of academic and research experience in health and environmental economics and has helped pioneer the development of basic non­market valuation techniques which are widely used for benefit-cost analysis in health and environmental economics, through his work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental economics research program during the 1980s.

Currently working on quantifying patients’ willingness to accept risks and side effects in return for therapeutic benefits and estimating general time equivalences among health states, Johnson’s research has used a survey-research method called discrete-choice experiments to quantify patients’ willingness to accept tradeoffs among treatment benefits and harms.

“Until quite recently, this research has been far from the mainstream focus of comparative-effectiveness analysis and health-technology assessment, however, recent interest in patient-centric healthcare provided an audience for the idea that patient-preference data could help inform regulatory decision making,” said Johnson.

“Because clinical benefits and risks are measured in different units, regulators must implicitly assign subjective importance weights to clinical outcomes,” he said.  “Evidence on patients’ own importance weights for those outcomes is a way to explicitly incorporate the patient voice in such decisions. It is evident that this year’s Donabedian award was used to recognize the importance of this idea, rather than to recognize me personally.”

Johnson led the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)­sponsored study on patients’ willingness to accept benefit-risk tradeoffs for new health technologies. The study was used to develop recent FDA guidelines on submitting patient-preference data to support regulatory reviews of medical devices.

“The methods that Dr. Johnson has helped to develop over the last 25-30 years are now being appreciated and applied as we develop new approaches to patient centered research,” said the DCRI’s Shelby Reed, PhD, President of ISPOR and Director of the DCRI’s Preference Evaluation Research Group where she works alongside Johnson. “His winning this very prestigious award is recognition of the importance of patient preference and patient preference research at a greater level.”

Reed has worked with Johnson for the last four years on the Preference Evaluation Research Group, where they translate patients’ concerns and preferences into quantitative scientific evidence and address questions about representativeness and how to quantify the relative importance of different aspects of care and outcomes. According to Reed, Johnson has not only been the driver for the initial success of the group, but also the reason more and more people are acknowledging and recognizing the group’s work.

“Dr. Johnson is very generous in his mentorship and I continue to learn a tremendous amount from him, said Reed. “I congratulate him for this much deserving honor.”

Duke receives $60 million NIH grant to speed medical research into practice

May 15, 2018 – The DCRI’s Jennifer Li, MD, is among the researchers who will administer the grant to Duke’s CTSA program.

The Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) has been awarded a five-year grant of more than $60 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance innovative ideas from the point of discovery to implementation in clinical practice and population health.

The Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program, supported by the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, provides infrastructure for researchers at Duke to conduct clinical research, train young scientists and share developments across a consortium of more than 60 other leading centers throughout the world.

Duke received one of the original 12 CTSA grants in 2006, with a previous renewal of $47 million in 2013.

Jennifer Li“With the NIH’s support, Duke CTSA will continue to lead in translating research discoveries into health benefits,” said A. Eugene Washington, MD, Duke University chancellor for health affairs and president and CEO of Duke University Health System. “And we are gratified that the many distinguished achievements and significant contributions of our faculty, staff and trainees are recognized through this renewed investment.”

Three principal investigators lead Duke’s CTSA program, including L. Ebony Boulware, MD, chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, vice dean for translational science, and associate vice chancellor for translational research in the School of Medicine; the DCRI’s Jennifer Li, MD, chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology (pictured); and James McNamara, MD, director of the Center for Translational Neuroscience.

Among the grant’s key components is funding new collaborative initiatives between the CTSI and N.C. Central University, which will support programs that provide training opportunities and internships, promote research projects through pilot funding, and extend engagement with the Durham community to promote research.

“Over the past six months, NCCU has worked closely with the CTSI on a five-year partnership that began in September 2017,” said Johnson O. Akinleye, PhD, chancellor of NCCU. “We are excited to be a committed partner with Duke CTSI on workforce development, community engagement and translational research development that will achieve meaningful results.”

Duke uses the CTSA funds to provide biostatistical and regulatory expertise, fund laboratory discoveries into early-phase clinical trials, enhance project management support, expand data sharing and informatics tools and educate current and future translational medicine researchers.

The CTSA funding has already:

  • Supported more than 100 research projects and inter-institutional collaborations;
  • Developed a portal to help Duke investigators manage their research portfolios;
  • Trained more than 30 translational scientists;
  • Awarded more than 80 graduate degrees in biostatistics and clinical informatics;
  • Funded Durham-based research collaborations with a local church and a community advisory council, among others;
  • And resulted in 200 peer-reviewed publications.

“Moving forward, we will also develop new tools for faculty, staff and students to help them identify training and career advancement opportunities, to access data at Duke, and to improve their connectivity to numerous research opportunities across Duke,” said Boulware, the principal investigator.

She said the grant renewal will also advance the field of data science, funding new programs to enhance health care delivery.

“Renewal of the CTSA is an important validation of the immense efforts of so many individuals across our campus. I am so appreciative of the innovative and hard work that the CTSA team lead by Dr. Boulware, put into this successful renewal,” said Mary E. Klotman, MD, dean of the Duke University School of Medicine. “With this support, significant efforts to train and support our researchers and staff, increase engagement with our community and accelerate scientific discovery into improved care for patients can continue in earnest.”

PCORI awards $7 million to Schanberg to study juvenile idiopathic arthritis treatments

May 14, 2018 – The study is one of four recently announced by PCORI.

The DCRI’s Laura Schanberg, MD, and the University of Washington’s Sarah Ringold, MD, working with a team of investigators from the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), have been approved for a $7 million funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study treatments for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). This project is also supported by CARRA, the Arthritis Foundation, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Laura SchanbergJIA affects as many as 300,000 children in the United States. The condition can cause pain, suffering, school and work absence, and diminished ability to engage in normal activities. In younger patients, arthritis can cause joint damage, deformities, and growth problems. Eye inflammation can cause permanent damage to the eyes, including blindness. Studies suggest that how JIA is treated at the beginning makes a difference in long-term outcomes, making it critical to test treatment effectiveness from early in the course of the disease.

The study will determine whether a six-month course of abatacept given soon after diagnosis of limited JIA (affecting four or fewer joints) will prevent the involvement of more joints, eye inflammation, or need for stronger treatment. Abatacept is a biologic medication that acts specifically on a part of the immune system known to be involved in the development of arthritis.

Another aim of the study is to better understand the experience of children and families participating in a clinical trial, starting at the time of JIA diagnosis. Using home visits, telephone interviews, and electronic surveys, the researchers will collect information from families about trial participation in real time throughout the duration of the study, starting at the time of enrollment, and use this information to improve the experience of enrolling and participating in a research study.

“This will be the first time that a preventive approach to JIA has been tried,” Schanberg said. “If we are able to decrease the more severe forms of JIA and eye disease, it will substantially reduce the morbidity associated with disease and change standard of care.  Another unique part of the study is embedding ethnographic assessment of subjects in the trial, making it possible to learn about study participation as it is being experienced by study subjects.”

The study will utilize the infrastructure of the CARRA Registry, for which the DCRI serves as data coordinating center. An outcomes team led by Kristin Siebenaler and Anne Dennos will work with network clinical operations to model a pragmatic trial executed in an ongoing registry. The proposal was developed under the auspices of PARTNERS, a PCORI-funded patient powered research network, led by DCRI’s Renee Leverty.

The study will also leverage PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network. PCORnet is PCORI’s initiative to improve the nation’s capacity to conduct patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research more efficiently by harnessing the power of large amounts of health data and patient partnerships.

“This project was selected for PCORI funding not only for its scientific merit and commitment to engaging patients and other stakeholders, but also for its potential to improve our nation’s capacity to conduct clinical research more efficiently and to answer important questions that patients and clinicians face,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. “We look forward to following the study’s progress and working with the DCRI to share the results.”

Schanberg’s study was selected for PCORI funding through a highly competitive review process in which patients, clinicians, and other stakeholders joined clinical scientists to evaluate the proposals. Applications were assessed for scientific merit, how well they will engage patients and other stakeholders, and their methodological rigor among other criteria. The award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. For more information about PCORI’s funding, visit

CARRA is a nonprofit research network of more than 500 pediatric rheumatology investigators spanning more than 120 sites across the U.S. and Canada, dedicated to improving the treatment and health related outcomes of children with rheumatic diseases through research. CARRA’s mission is to conduct collaborative research to prevent, treat, and cure pediatric rheumatic diseases. For more information on CARRA, visit

DCRI receives CRO Leadership Awards for third year

May 10, 2018 – The DCRI earned top marks in four categories, including Capabilities, Expertise, Quality, and Reliability.

For the third year, the DCRI has been recognized by the CRO Leadership Awards presented by Life Science Leader magazine. The organization was recognized in five out of six categoriesCapabilities, Compatibility, Expertise, Quality, and Reliabilityand listed as a Top Performer in Capabilities, Expertise, Quality, and Reliability. The DCRI also received Individual Attribute Awards for Data Quality, Meeting Overall Project Timelines, Operational Excellence, and Responsiveness.

The awards are based on online surveys conducted by Industry Standard Research. This year, 70 contract research organizations (CROs) were evaluated on more than 20 different performance metrics. The survey respondents came from biopharmaceutical companies and were asked to evaluate only those CROs with which they had worked on an outsourced project within the last 18 months.

A full list of award winners can be found in the May issue of Life Science Leader. A formal awards ceremony will be held June 25 in Boston at the 2018 DIA Global Annual Meeting.

“We are honored to again be recognized for the work we are doing to advance clinical science and improve patient health,” said DCRI Executive Director Eric Peterson, MD, MPH. “These awards are a reflection of the efforts of our faculty, fellows, and operational teams to make the DCRI the world’s leading academic research organization.”