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Rapid Response Unit

The Rapid Response Unit (RRU) of the ODPRN was created with the goal of rapidly conducting policy-relevant research in Ontario, and communicates regularly with key policy-makers in the Ontario government to determine areas of high priority for drug research. The RRU is comprised of two teams: the Pharmacoepidemiology Program and the Project Management Team.


The RRU houses the Pharmacoepidemiology Program, which rapidly responds to research requests from the ministry of health and long-term care using the administrative claims databases housed at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). These linked databases include information on physician claims, hospitalizations, emergency department visits, geographic location, vital statistics on the entire population of Ontario, and drug utilization data on the elderly population and those receiving social assistance. The pharmacoepidemiology program:

  • Explores novel methodologies in observational research,
  • Conducts clinically relevant comparative effectiveness and drug safety research driven by members of the Core Academic Unit, and
  • Refines the study design and data extraction processes to allow for increasingly rapid turnaround of research requests.

Comprised of a team of experienced epidemiologists, biostatisticians, analysts, project managers and clinicians, the pharmacoepidemiology program collaboratively and quickly responds to the needs of drug policy-makers in Ontario. Additionally, cross-provincial differences in policy decisions are facilitated through collaborations with members of the Core Academic Unit, Canadian Drug Safety and Effectiveness Research Network (CDSERN),  the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS), and IMS Health Canada.

Project Management Team

A Project Management Team comprised of dedicated project managers and research administrators organizes, coordinates, and facilitates the work of the RRU as well as the other units of the ODPRN. The RRU serves as the hub of many of the ODPRN’s activities by acting as the central team responding to policy-maker requests.

Members of the RRU:

Scientific Lead:
Tara Gomes


Research Associate:
Dr. Mina Tadrous
Diana Martins
Project Manager:
Samantha Singh
Research Administration:
Kristine Antony
Wayne Khuu
Simon Greaves
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