It is with a great deal of pride and humility that I have accepted this new role as the Editor-in-Chief of American Health & Drug Benefits (AHDB). Let me outline what I hope to accomplish in the coming months and years and solicit your input and support. First, some background about my professional journey. I have been at Thomas Jefferson University for the past 22 years. During that tenure, I have had essentially 3 jobs. I came on board in 1990 in a staff role to the hospital CEO, directing the Office of Health Policy. Thirteen years later, this office evolved into the first Department of Health Policy within Jefferson Medical College, the nation’s largest private medical school.
After 5 years as a medical school department chair, having achieved what I thought was my professional zenith, I was asked by the President of Jefferson University, Robert Barchi, MD, PHD, to take on a new challenge, namely, to create a brand new school, aptly named the Jefferson School of Population Health (JSPH). JSPH was formed through a unanimous vote of the Jefferson University Board of Trustees, and we opened our doors to a unique school on September 9, 2009.
During this journey, I have had the privilege of editing nearly 2 dozen books, and I currently serve as an editor for several peer-reviewed journals. As a result, I have a steady hand when it comes to steering a journal in new and choppy waters. To hold on to this helm, I have asked 2 seasoned colleagues to join me as deputy editors.
Joseph E. Couto, PharmD, MBA, is Assistant Professor in the JSPH. Dr Couto also directs our very successful postdoctoral Health Economics and Outcomes Research Fellowship program. Laura T. Pizzi, PharmD, MPH, RPh, is Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Jefferson School of Pharmacy. Dr Pizzi has significant experience in researching the costs and outcomes of pharmaceuticals. I am grateful to Dr Couto and Dr Pizzi for their willingness to join me in this endeavor.
Our mission is to take AHDB to new heights. With your help, and with steady leadership, we will continue to further AHDB as a trusted source of new information and position it as the “go-to” journal within the realm of health and drug benefits, the functioning of benefit managers, value-based patient care, and the role of these functions in the context of healthcare reform.
Who should be reading the revitalized AHDB? I believe decision makers in all sectors will be interested in our content. Our target audience encompasses key persons, such as members of pharmacy and therapeutics committees, leaders within the pharmacy benefit management realm, executives in managed care organizations and integrated delivery systems, and providers who have leadership aspirations. I would also like AHDB to increasingly engage policymakers in the public and the private sectors.
Along with Dr Couto and Dr Pizzi, I intend to reenergize the journal and invite new collaborators to join us. We will recruit senior leaders from every relevant sector of our audience—industry, academia, the purchaser community, and the government. I am confident that our revitalized editorial board will help accomplish several key goals: strengthening the editorial focus of AHDB; recruiting timely, credible, and informative articles; and stimulating a broader and deeper conversation regarding contemporary issues in line with our editorial mission.
Our healthcare system, especially as it applies to the evaluation of health and drug benefits and value-based healthcare, is at a crossroads. It is also a new era for the pharmaceutical industry and its sister industries, biotechnology and medical devices. All this offers a wonderful opportunity to reshape AHDB in a way that would prepare it for greater recognition by authoritative medical bodies. The challenges of and changes to our healthcare system today present this real opportunity for AHDB.
To accomplish these goals, we need your help. First, I hope you will personally turn to AHDB as a go-to source for cutting-edge, relevant, and timely information in our field. Second, I hope you will consider AHDB a publication venue when you are evaluating programs and conducting research. Third, I hope you will recommend our content to many colleagues. Finally, I hope that you will join us in a revitalized national conversation about America’s healthcare system and the benefits that are critical to our nation’s health.