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G. Caleb Alexander, M.D., M.S.

Departments of Epidemiology and Medicine
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
2006-2009 Cohort
Project Title: "Development and Evaluation of Interventions to Safely Reduce Patients' Out-of-Pocket Prescription Costs"

About the Project:

This project supported the development and conduct of a soon-to-be-completed randomized controlled trial of a behavioral intervention to reduce patients’ out-of-pocket prescription costs.  Foundation support also allowed for a series of studies examining how different strategies that physicians may use to assist patients (e.g., free samples, use of 90-day supplies) impact out-of-pocket and third-party prescription costs.


G. Caleb Alexander, M.D., M.S. is a general internist and expert in clinical prescribing, pharmacoepidemiology, and pharmaceutical policy.  His research focuses on patient-physician decision-making regarding prescription drugs and broader patterns of prescription utilization.  After completing a widely cited study suggesting that patient-physician communication about prescription costs is important yet neglected, Dr. Alexander led a series of follow-up studies to describe barriers to greater communication, strategies that physicians can use to assist patients burdened by costs, and new ethical challenges to physicians in the era of cost-sharing.  He has also investigated how different strategies that physicians may use to assist patients (e.g., use of 90-day supplies, free samples) impact patients’ bottom line.  

In addition to work focused on clinical prescribing, Dr. Alexander has also spearheaded studies to examine broader patterns of prescription drug utilization, many which have had important implications for pharmaceutical policy. This work includes investigations of changes in the treatment of diabetes during the past two decades; differences in hypertension treatment and control between Western Europe and the United States; the diffusion of a new class of pharmaceuticals, Cox-2 inhibitors, beyond the population that stood to gain the most from their use; policy analyses of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit; and clinical and policy dimensions of off-label prescribing.

Dr. Alexander is an avid ornithologist, and also enjoys wildlife photography and swimming.

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