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Milken Institute School of Public Health and the District of Columbia Department of Health Launch the DC Center for Rational Prescribing

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

DCRx aims to improve prescribing patterns in the District of Columbia to help patients access affordable, quality care.

Today, the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University (GW) and the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) announced the launch of a website that provides impartial, scientific information about drugs and other therapies to physicians and other healthcare professionals. The DC Center for Rational Prescribing (DCRx) teaches physicians and other healthcare professionals to prescribe accessible and affordable treatments for patients, based on the best available evidence, clinical expertise and benefits that outweigh adverse effects.

“We are fully committed to the success of this forward-thinking initiative. This joint effort will equip prescribers and other healthcare practitioners alike with unbiased educational resources that can be useful when prescribing quality care, at lower cost,” said Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, DOH Director.

DCRx, an evidence-based pharmaceutical education program, was created in response to the SafeRX Act, which was passed by the Council of the District of Columbia in March 2008. This program focuses on improving the quality of patient care by improving prescribing practices and promoting the selection of affordable medications to reduce unnecessary healthcare spending, thereby encouraging efficient use of District funds. In turn, DCRx will also promote access to affordable and equally effective therapy for DC residents, through improved prescribing practices. This innovative effort is a unique pharmaceutical educational program developed by the team at the Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) along with researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center.

“Our mission is to provide physicians and other prescribers with the information they need to write the best prescriptions, based on the best evidence,” says Susan F. Wood, PhD, the lead investigator on the project and an associate professor of health policy and management at Milken Institute SPH. “Unbiased pharmaceutical information helps consumers get the right medicines that translate to higher quality of care.”

DCRx offers a series of online continuing medical education (CME) courses, free to DC healthcare professionals. Courses cover many topics including generic drugs, the federal drug approval process, and a three-part series on medical cannabis. Future modules will provide prescribers with relevant information about marketing practices in the pharmaceutical industry that are intended to circumvent competition from generic, other therapeutically-equivalent alternatives or other evidence-based treatment options. This content is available online for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.

To learn more about DCRx, access CME content, and view additional resources, visit doh.dc.gov/dcrx.

About Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University:

Established in July 1997 as the School of Public Health and Health Services, Milken Institute School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation’s capital. Today, more than 1,700 students from almost every US state and 39 countries pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level degrees in public health. The school also offers an online Master of Public Health, [email protected], and an online Executive Master of Health Administration, [email protected], which allow students to pursue their degree from anywhere in the world.

About  the District of Columbia Department of Health:

The mission of the Department of Health is to promote and protect the health, safety and quality of life of residents, visitors and those doing business in the District of Columbia. For more information about the Department of Health or to learn more about administrations and programs please visit www.doh.dc.gov.