The Therapeutics Initiative
- What is the Therapeutics Initiative?
- Who are involved in the Therapeutics Initiative?
- How is the TI different than other organizations?
- How is the TI organized?
- Who funds the Therapeutics Initiative?
- Where is the Therapeutics Initiative located?
- How can I participate in the work of the Therapeutics Initiative?
Q: What is the Therapeutics Initiative?
A: The Therapeutics Initiative (TI) is an independent organization established in 1994 at the University of British Columbia with a mission to disseminate up-to-date, evidence-based practical information on prescription drugs to all active players involved in drug therapy: physicians, pharmacists, nurses and policy-makers (Ministry of Health).
Q: Who are involved in the Therapeutics Initiative?
A: Two Co-Managing Directors (Drs. James Wright and Ken Bassett) oversee a group of physicians, pharmacists, medical researchers, epidemiologists, and experts in analyzing clinical trials of drugs.
Q: How is the TI different than other organizations?
A: The TI aims to reduce bias as much as possible and operates as an independent organization, separate from government, pharmaceutical industry and other vested interest groups. Many groups who assess the benefits and harms of drugs accept the presence of financial or professional conflicts of interest. We believe that high quality independent assessments of evidence on drug therapy must be free from conflicts of interest and those assessments should provide balance to the many sponsored information sources clinicians are exposed to.
Q: How is the TI organized?
A: We have an Executive Committee and six separate working groups that all contribute to our mission. Our work is overseen by an Oversight Committee which helps establish the strategic direction of our work. Our working groups include:
- DAWG: The Drug Assessment Working Group which carries out systematic reviews and critical appraisals of clinical trials of drugs to assess the evidence, produce reports for our funders, and inform the other educational aspects of the TI. More information about DAWG can be found here.
- EWG: The Education Working Group helps provide physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other allied health professionals with up to date, evidence based, practical information in the area of rational drug therapy. We hold seminars, conferences, workshops and small community educational sessions across BC with a variety of audiences including physicians, pharmacists, allied health professionals and students from a variety of disciplines. More information about EWG can be found here. Information about our educational events can be found here.
- TLWG: The Therapeutics Letter Working Group focuses on producing our “Therapeutics Letter” every one to two months targeting important therapeutic issues with brief, simple, practical messages. As of October 2018 we have produced 114 Therapeutic Letters across a wide range of therapeutic areas and these can be accessed here.
- PEG: The Pharmaco-Epidemiology Group which is based in Victoria carries out drug surveillance and safety studies. It is also the headquarters of BC’s node of DSEN, the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network, a pan-Canadian group that collaborates on important drug surveillance work.
- QPWG: The Quality Prescribing Working Group aims to provide individualized prescribing feedback and evidence summaries to prescribers to help improve prescribing.
- CHWG: The Cochrane Hypertension Working Group, also part of the Cochrane Collaboration, publishes systematic reviews of the effects of healthcare interventions on blood pressure and adverse outcomes due to hypertension. More information about CHWG can be found here.
Q: Who funds the Therapeutics Initiative?
A: Funds for the Therapeutics Initiative are provided by the Ministry of Health of British Columbia through a grant provided to the University of British Columbia. Our website does not host any form of advertisement. We also accept donations. For more information on donor requirements, please see our donation page here.
Q: Where is the Therapeutics Initiative located?
A: We have two offices, one at UBC in Vancouver and one in downtown Victoria. More information about our work can be found on our website at https://ti.ubc.ca
Q: How can I participate in the work of the Therapeutics Initiative?
A: We welcome feedback from the public and will accept comments and suggestions about our work on our website. Please feel free to peruse our site and send us any comments you might have. If you belong to a group that might value having one of our staff or researchers to come and speak about our work and the value of independent drug information, please contact our Communications Director, Alan Cassels firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also subscribe to our email list to get notices of upcoming courses and new material posted to our site here.