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Establishment of a Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics

Under the direction of Professor Stephen Crystal the Institute for Health received a major award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to establish a Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs). This award along with awards to three other CERTs expands the CERT network in the United States to eleven AHRQ-funded research centers and one coordinating center. The CERTs program that AHRQ administers in partnership with the Food and Drug Administration was authorized by Congress in 1997 to examine the benefits and risks and cost-effectiveness of therapeutic products, educate clients, consumers, physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other clinical personnel and improve the safety and quality of care while reducing costs by increasing appropriate use of therapeutics and preventing adverse effects and their consequences.

Researchers at the Institute will work on improving the safety and effective use of antidepressant and antipsychotic medicines among children and adolescents including balancing the risks and benefits of childhood antipsychotic use; psychotropic drug use among adults and the frail elderly; and improve the quality and outcomes of pharmaceutical care under the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act for beneficiaries with mental illnesses. A multidisciplinary faculty will be involved in this new initiative including those from the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, the School of Social Work, the Department of Statistics, and the UMDNJ’s medical schools and School of Public Health.

The AHRQ press release is available in its entirety

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