The Quality Prescribing Working Group (QPWG) designs and implements various interventions aimed to improve the quality of prescribing in British Columbia.
Dr. Ken Bassett, MD, PhD
Dr. James M. Wright, MD, PhD, FRCP(C)
Dr. Thomas Perry Jr., MD, FRCP
Dr. Tom Perry graduated from McGill University Medical School in 1978. He achieved Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, and took additional training at the Karolinska Institute Department of Clinical Pharmacology in Stockholm in 1986 and at UBC until 1989, when he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. He served as Opposition Health Critic from 1989-1991, as Minister for Advanced Education, Training & Technology from 1991-93, and as a government MLA from 1993-96. These experiences alerted him to the importance of getting good value for money in health care, in order to maintain an effective universal health service in Canada.
After returning to clinical medicine in 1996 Tom practiced general internal medicine with sick patients at Delta Hospital, UBC Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital until 2014. He now teaches clinical pharmacology through seminars, lectures and elective student clinical training at UBCH. His outpatient practice focuses on pharmacological treatment of chronic pain and high blood pressure and reduction of pointless or dangerous polypharmacy. He has a special interest in the use of videography to teach students and doctors about drugs and about human pathophysiology.
Tom chairs our Education Working Group, participates in the Drug Assessment Working Group, and is primary author for a number of TI Letters. His other interests include wilderness canoeing and hiking, environmental conservation, peace and social justice issues, music, reading, and his wife (an experienced RN) and two children. One thing he likes especially about working with the Therapeutics Initiative is continuous thinking and learning about medicine and drug therapy, and meeting the smart and dedicated health care colleagues with whom we have the opportunity to teach and learn.
Dr. Malcolm Maclure, PhD
Dr. Vijaya Musini, MD, MSc, MSc
Vijaya Musini has conducted and supervised over 200 systematic reviews and meta-analyses on prescription drug therapy. She is an Editor of the Cochrane Hypertension Review Group and has been actively involved in teaching Cochrane Collaboration systematic review methodology and critical appraisal skills on evidence based drug therapy to undergraduate, graduate, medical students and residents.
Dr. Musini graduated from Mumbai University Medical School in 1982. After completing her rotating internship she joined the Department of Community Medicine in 1984 and graduated with a Diploma in Public Health from Mumbai University Medical School in 1985.
She has worked as a Family Practitioner and as a Medical Officer in primary health care centres in Mumbai, India for several years. She also worked as a research assistant in the Departments of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, and Health Care and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University. She immigrated to Canada in 1996 and graduated with a Masters Degree in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from the University of British Columbia in 2000.
Dr. Aaron Tejani, BSc (Pharm), PharmD
Dr. Aaron M Tejani, is a researcher with the Therapeutics Initiative (co-chair of the Education Working Group and the Drug Assessment Working Group), an editor with the Cochrane Hypertension group, a clinical assistant professor with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (University of British Columbia), and Medication use evaluation pharmacist with Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services (Vancouver, BC). He completed his BSc(Pharm) at UBC (Vancouver) and Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Creighton University (Omaha, Nebraska).
He currently serves as a peer reviewer for several biomedical journals. Dr. Tejani has published scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals (including authoring 11 Cochrane systematic reviews) and presented to healthcare professional groups at local, national, and international conferences. He is particularly interested in teaching healthcare professionals how to critically appraise research publications and systematic reviews on medical interventions. He is the lead author of a number of Therapeutics Letters.
Dr. Rita McCracken, MD, CCFP, PhD
Dr. Jessica Otte, MD, CCFP
Dr. Jessica Otte is a family physician in Nanaimo, BC. She has always been passionate about helping patients find the right health care according to the evidence and their needs and values, and she practices this daily with a focus on care of the elderly and palliative care. Dr Otte is deeply engaged in sharing this approach through continuing medical education, an active social media presence (@LessIsMoreMed), and teaching family practice residents.
Together with clinical expertise and patient values, Dr. Otte champions the values of the Therapeutics Initiative – rigorous and unbiased review of evidence – in her quality improvement, policy, clinical guideline, and health technology assessment (HTA) contributions at the provincial and national levels.
Dr. Paramdeep Kaur, PhD
Paramdeep has joined the APT Department as Statistician for the Surgery Quality Outcome Reports (SQOR) project in 2017. She has experience in using administrative data bases and is currently providing statistical support to TI’s Quality Prescribing Working Group (QPWG). She is currently doing her Professional Specialization Certificate in Population Health Data Analysis (PHDA) from the University of Victoria.
Paramdeep obtained a Master in Statistics (with distinction) and a PhD in Statistics from the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India. She worked as Lecturer in Statistics at the Khalsa College Amritsar, India from 2008 to 2010. She worked as Assistant Professor in the Community Medicine Department at Christian Medical College & Hospital (CMC), Ludhiana, India for 4 years and during this period she also provided Statistician support to the CMC Stroke Research Team. She was the lead statistician for India’s first population based stroke registry that was sponsored by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Government of India, performed analysis of randomized controlled trials (https://n.neurology.org/content/83/11/1012.short, https://n.neurology.org/content/80/6/528.long) and is co-author for more than 25 research publications, including a completed systematic review and meta-analysis. Before immigrating to Canada, Paramdeep worked for 2 years as Medical Statistician at the University of Oxford, UK.
Mr. Alan Cassels, BA,MPA
Alan Cassels has decades of experience researching and writing on pharmaceuticals, particularly drug benefits policies, and the politics of pharmaceutical research, marketing, and coverage. His main specialties are documenting the gap between marketing and science in the pharmaceutical and medical screening industries, and trying to improve the quality of medical reporting. His journalism aims to take high quality evidence-based medical information and make it simple and understandable for consumers.
Alan has written an international bestseller on the pharmaceutical industry’s role in the creation and marketing of illness, Selling Sickness, with Ray Moynihan (Greystone, 2005), an illustrated poetry book on disease mongering, The ABCs of Disease Mongering: An Epidemic in 26 Letters (EmDash, 2007) and a book on medical screening (Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease (Greystone, 2012). His latest book is The Cochrane Collaboration: Medicine’s Best Kept Secret, (Agio, 2015).
Mr. Gregory Bullard, PMP
Gregory Bullard brings over 20 years of Project and Program Management experience to his role as Research Project Coordinator within the Quality Prescribing Working Group of the Therapeutics Initiative. A transplant to Canada, by way of Texas, Gregory is excited to help build the infrastructure and rigor to enable long-term success for the QPWG.
Ms. Julie Teng, MA, MS, RDN
Julie has a background in health care and an interest in research related to the medical field. Julie earned her BA in Nutrition from Bastyr University and MS in Health Care Policy and Management from SUNY Stony Brook. She formerly worked as a Registered Dietitian and health coach. She also completed an MA in Somatic Counselling Psychology from Naropa University and specialized in the treatment of eating disorders. Most recently, Julie worked as the Education Program Manager for the Centre for Blood Research, UBC. She is excited to continue working in a research setting with the Therapeutics Initiative (TI). Julie provides administrative support for TI executives and the TI team in their Victoria office.