About Us

Established in 2008, the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN) is a collaboration of distinguished researchers from across Ontario that was formed to rapidly respond to policymakers’ needs for relevant research to guide and inform their decisions. We have the capacity to generate scientifically sound evidence related to real-world drug utilization, safety, effectiveness, and costs of drugs in Ontario. Our established partnerships enable us to engage in cross-provincial comparisons of drug safety and utilization. Our researchers have expertise in pharmaceutical utilization, outcomes, economics, and drug-policy research.


  • Support evidence-informed drug policy decision-making through rapid research
  • Be a leader in generating high-quality, relevant and timely research of interest to clinicians, policy-makers, academics and the general public
  • Effectively communicate our findings to our stakeholders
  • Provide a challenging and engaging training environment for students interested in pharmacoepidemiology and drug policy research

ODPRN Structure

Key Elements of the ODPRN

Overseeing all aspects of the ODPRN, the Project Management and Oversight Unit ensures the efficient planning, execution, and monitoring of research initiatives from start to finish. They coordinate various aspects of projects, such as setting timelines, allocating resources, managing budgets, and integrating knowledge translation strategies into research activities. Additionally, they engage with policymakers, healthcare professionals, and ODPRN advisory groups to ensure project goals align with the broader healthcare community needs.
The Pharmaceutical Policy and Analysis Unit serves as the cornerstone of our research efforts by directly addressing the needs of policymakers while spearheading various research initiatives. Comprised of a multidisciplinary team of epidemiologists, biostatisticians, analysts, and clinicians, our team leverages data primarily housed at ICES to conduct rigorous analysis and research to generate evidence-based insights that inform health policy, evaluate health care services, and support decision-making.
The Knowledge Translation Unit (KTU) of the ODPRN focuses on the dissemination of the ODPRN’s activities to various stakeholders including policymakers, researchers, health care providers, clinicians, patients, and the public, with the goal of making research findings more accessible. The KTU also evaluates the impact of the ODPRN, undertakes media relations, capacity building, and develops knowledge translation strategies for targeted projects. The KTU is comprised of knowledge translation, health communication, design, and qualitative methods.
Established in 2017 with funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) to inform and evaluate opioid policy in Ontario, the OODO serves as a platform bringing together stakeholders, researchers, and data to address the growing opioid crisis. The OODO facilitates data linkage between opioid prescriptions, opioid-related deaths, and harm reduction with other health administrative databases in Ontario. This initiative has resulted in the creation of the largest and most comprehensive linked repository of data on opioid use and related harms in Canada.
The ODPRN Student Training Program aims to engage with students to develop capacity in drug policy research in Ontario. It provides trainees with knowledge in drug policy research, pharmacoepidemiological methods, patient-oriented research and knowledge translation. Trainees involved in this one-year collaborative program will work towards obtaining a drug policy training research certificate through the ODPRN.

Community Engagement

The Stakeholder Advisory Panel (SAP) acts as the primary oversight committee for ODPRN, guiding independent research and offering scientific and policy counsel. Comprising interdisciplinary experts, policymakers, data partners, and knowledge users, the SAP provides expertise, prioritizes projects, identifies funding, and ensures high-quality project delivery. Additionally, the SAP plays a vital role in overseeing student training initiatives within the ODPRN.
The ODPRN Citizens’ Panel is a group of up to 25 volunteer citizens from across Ontario who have collectively come together to ensure that the ODPRN appropriately identifies issues of importance to the public, and incorporates these priorities into all aspects of our research. They hold leadership roles within various panels and actively participate in research teams, contributing to project development and dissemination efforts.
The Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG) was established by the OODO in late 2017, adopting a proactive and patient-centered approach. Members, who have firsthand experience with opioids, meet regularly to discuss ongoing projects and offer valuable input on research priorities. They play a crucial role in ensuring that opioid-related research remains relevant from the perspective of those with lived experience. Additionally, they provide feedback on research findings and assist in devising strategies to disseminate this information effectively through personal and professional networks.
The OODO Steering Committee is composed of individuals with lived or living experience with opioids, alongside researchers, harm reduction workers, clinicians, and knowledge users. Together, they provide guidance on the development, interpretation, and dissemination of OODO’s work. The committee includes representatives from various organizations and groups involved in addressing opioid-related issues.

Together, these units have the capacity to:

  • Assess the relative safety and effectiveness of drug therapies
  • Measure drug plan costs as a function of drug policy decisions
  • Assess changes in drug utilization over time and space
  • Understand utilization, adherence, appropriateness, and costs of drug classes, including the impact of changes to the provincial drug formulary
  • Assess the impact of system level interventions on the health of populations
  • Disseminate and implement our research evidence to key stakeholder groups

ODPRN Funding

The ODPRN is funded by grants from the Ontario Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Funding for the ODPRN is also provided by Ontario SPOR Support Unit, which is supported by the CIHR, the Province of Ontario and partner Ontario hospital foundations and institutes. The ODPRN is also supported by ICES, which is funded by an annual grant from the MOH and the Ministry of Long-Term Care (MLTC). The opinions, results, and conclusions reported by the ODPRN are independent from these funding sources. No endorsement by ICES, the Ontario MOH, MLTC, or CIHR is intended or should be inferred.

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