Welcome to my research group page!

Our research is in the area of pharmaceutical health services research.  Our primary focus is assessing the impact of pharmacy policy on healthcare utilization and patient outcomes.  Our group is also interested in healthcare and pharmacy policy, economics, and pharmacoepidemiology.

About Us

Dan Hartung, PharmD, MPH

Associate Professor

Dan earned his BS and PharmD from the University of Wisconsin and MPH (biostatistics/epidemiology emphasis) from OHSU.  He completed a pharmacy practice residency at the Portland VA Medical Center and a fellowship in outcomes research at OSU.  Dan has been with the College of Pharmacy since 2001 and on faculty since 2007.  Dan’s research interests include pharmaceutical health services research, systematic reviews, pharmaco-epidemiology, and healthcare economics.  He is also adjunct faculty in the OHSU Public Health Department and an investigator in the OHSU Evidence-based Practice Center.


Sharia Ahmed, MPH
Faculty Research Assistant

After earning bachelors degrees in both Biology and Global Studies from the University of Minnesota, Sharia continued her studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, completing an MPH in Global Epidemiology and a fellowship with the CDC. She currently splits her time between Dr. Hartung’s research group in Portland, where she models medication trends over time, and OSU in Corvallis, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Health Epidemiology.  Sharia is originally from Minnesota, where her family taught her to appreciate the outdoors as well as new and different communities.


Luke Middleton, BS
Database Analyst

Under contract with the Oregon Health Authority’s Medical Assistance Programs Luke maintains a large database of Medicaid claims data used to monitor drug utilization, create provider education, and provide analyses for policy makers. He also works as a programmer, creating front-end applications that allow complicated data management tasks to be performed quickly and easily.  Luke has been with the OSU College of Pharmacy since 2005.


Current Research Support

Opioid Analgesic Policies and Prescription Drug Abuse in State Medicaid Programs
Funder: CDC/NIDA
Grant Number: 1U01CE002500-01
Dates: 10/1/2014 – 9/31/2016
Role: PI
Summary: Overdose with opioid painkillers has reached epidemic levels and has become a major public health concern. In response, many state Medicaid programs have introduced restrictive policies that limit access to opioid painkillers. This research will ascertain if these policies have had a positive impact on opioid painkiller abuse and ultimately on reducing the burden of opioid-related deaths.

Pharmacy Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Toolkit (PDMP) to Improve Opioid Safety
Funder: AHRQ
Grant Number: 1R18HS024227-01
Dates: 10/1/2015 – 9/30/2018
Role: PI
Summary: This study aims to develop and pilot test a PDMP toolkit for use in community pharmacies to guide pharmacists’ use of the PDMP, with the ultimate goal of reducing prescription opioid-related harms.

Project Description

Completed Research Support
Mentored Clinical Scientists Comparative Effectiveness Development Award
Funder: AHRQ
Grant Number: 1K12HS019456-01
Dates: 7/1/10 – 6/30/13
Role: Scholar (PI Guise,JM)
Summary: The aim of this career development grant was to compare intended and unintended consequences of drug policy among individuals with mental illness in two state Medicaid programs. Career development aspects of this K award included using techniques to control confounding and bias in observational comparative effectiveness research.

Sedative Hypnotic Use by the Mentally Ill: A Medicaid Prescription Policy Study
Funder: NIMH
Grant Number: 1R01MH086310-01
Dates: 7/1/09 – 4/30/2012
Role: co-I (PI Zerzan J)
Summary: The goal of this study is to develop an integrated multistate Medicaid dataset in order to study of health care utilization changes associated with psychotropic drug access policy implementation and psychotropic use in Colorado, Kansas and Oregon. Specifically, we will examine the impact of restrictive policies related to the use of newer sedative hypnotics.