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Aslam Anis

Centre Director, PHD, FCAHS

Dr. Aslam Anis is a respected health economist who has been the Centre’s Director since 2006.

Research Interests

  • Cost-effectiveness of new drugs
  • Impact of regulations on the pharmaceutical industry
  • Arthritis
  • Obesity

His primary areas of research involvement include health services research, measuring patient-reported outcomes, clinical trials including pragmatic and pharmacoeconomic trials, Canadian competition policy in the pharmaceutical industry, and the cost-effectiveness of treatments for HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions.

Dr. Anis’s research activities have been extensive. His earliest studies pertaining to the pharmaceutical industry showed that pricing regulations as they were being implemented by provincial drug plans were responsible for higher generic drug prices in Canada. His related research has since focused on the influence of federal pricing policies on the price of brand-name pharmaceuticals, as well as the impact of government regulations and insurance deductibles and co-payments on drug use. As the founding director of the Pharmacoeconomic Initiative of B.C., Dr. Anis developed a framework under which pharmaceutical firms seeking to list drugs on the provincial formulary were required to submit cost-effectiveness data to inform the government’s decision. Dr. Anis has since undertaken studies on the feasibility of implementing a National Pharmacare Plan.

In the 1990s, Dr. Anis was among the first scholars worldwide to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and his work helped shape economic policies governing access to this critical treatment for persons living with HIV/AIDS. He has since published widely in the peer-reviewed literature on quality of life and health resource use and costs among HIV/AIDS patients treated and not treated with ART. As an expert in cost-effectiveness analysis, Dr. Anis has also made important contributions to arthritis research. In the area of rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. Anis has been involved in several influential studies of biologic therapies, which have informed reimbursement policies surrounding these treatments in Canada and the United Kingdom. He is also a recognized expert in the measurement of work productivity loss and he consults widely on how to include these costs in studies of the economic impact of arthritis. His recent work in arthritis is focused on the economic evaluation of the DESIR cohort, a multi-centre French study of patients with early spondyloarthritis.

Since his recruitment in 1995 to Providence Health Care, home to Advancing Health and the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network, the latter of which he serves as National Director, Dr. Anis has fostered a network of world-class scientists in health economics, pharmacoeconomics, and health services research, driving numerous influential programs to inform health policy. A strong believer in the importance of knowledge translation in propelling the research cycle, he is active in cultivating and interacting with the community, knowledge brokers, and users. As the Director of Advancing Health, Dr. Anis is committed to mentoring young scientists and to promoting positive working relationships with staff and trainees, whose success is a top priority at Advancing Health. Dr. Anis values the energy and dedication of his wide network of colleagues and he shares their devotion to health outcomes research benefiting both patients and society.