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Ruth Lopert

2006–07 Harkness Fellow; Adjunct Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University

Ruth Lopert, B.Sc., B.Med., M.Med.Sci., a public health physician and pharmacoepidemiologist/pharmacoeconomist, is currently Deputy Director, Pharmaceutical Policy and Strategy, in the Pharmaceuticals & Health Technologies Group at Management Sciences for Health in Arlington, Va. She also holds an adjunct professorial appointment in the Department of Health Policy and Management at George Washington University, where she was Visiting Professor in 2011–12 and a Harkness Fellow in 2006–07. From 2008–11 Lopert was the Chief Medical Officer in the FDA’s Australian counterpart agency, the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Previously she established and directed the pharmaceutical policy unit in the Australian Department of Health; prior to that she managed the day-to-day operations of the national drug benefit program, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and was a clinical and policy advisor to the national formulary committee. In 2003–04 Lopert was also primary negotiator on pharmaceuticals during the Australia–U.S. Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Lopert is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and a member of l’Academie Nationale de Pharmacie of France. She is a former member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Policies and Management. She has also worked as an external consultant to WHO, the World Bank, PAHO and NICE-International, mainly in former Soviet bloc countries. Lopert’s research interests include medicine and therapeutics regulation; pharmaceutical policy and pricing; health technology assessment (HTA); pharmaceutical intellectual property (IP); and issues at the intersections of trade, IP, and access to medicines.

Harkness Project Title: Comparing Cost, Coverage, and Access to Pharmaceuticals Under Australian and United States Policy Frameworks

Mentors: Sara Rosenbaum, J.D., Marilyn Moon, Ph.D., and Bruce Stuart, Ph.D.

Placement: Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Ruth Lopert, a 2006–07 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy, is a public health physician and pharmacoepidemiologist, and is currently principal adviser in the Pharmaceutical Policy Taskforce in the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing in Canberra, Australia. Prior to the establishment of the Taskforce in 2005 Lopert held the position of senior medical adviser in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Branch of the Department, providing clinical and policy advice in relation to the operation of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and acting as an adviser to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC). Previously Lopert was a senior lecturer in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Newcastle, NSW where she was involved in the clinical and economic evaluation of new drugs proposed for listing on the Australian PBS. She is a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Policies and Management, and was the primary negotiator of the pharmaceutical provisions of the Australia United States Free Trade Agreement. Lopert has published and presented internationally in pharmacoeconomics and has particular interests in pharmaceutical policy, pharmaceutical IP, drug pricing and access to medicines.

Project: The objectives of Ruth Lopert’s research were to analyze the formulary, coverage, and cost of Medicare Part D drug plans, and compare these to the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.  She interviewed representatives of the top ten Part D providers as well as representatives of the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the United States Pharmacopeia Inc. Data on Part D plan prices and characteristics came from CMS; data on the Australian scheme were available online.

Career Activity Since Fellowship

  • Director, LWC Health - Global Health and Pharmaceutical Policy Consulting, 2014
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Health Policy, George Washington University, 2013
  • Deputy Director of Pharmaceutical Policy and Strategy, Management Sciences for Health, 2014
  • Principal Medical Adviser, Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australian Department of Health and Ageing, 2008 
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Health Policy, George Washington University, 2011
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy, George Washington University, 2007

Current Position (updated 4/2023)

  • Deputy Director, Pharmaceutical Policy and Strategy, Pharmaceuticals & Health Technologies Group, Management Sciences for Health
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Health Policy, George Washington University

E-mail: [email protected]

Selected Publications

Parkinson B, Sermet C, Clement F, Crausaz S, Godman B, Garner S, Choudhury M, Pearson SA, Viney R, Lopert R, Elshaug A. “Disinvestment and Value-Based Purchasing Strategies for Pharmaceuticals: An International Review,” Pharmacoeconomics. 2015

Lopert R and Elshaug A. "Australia's 'Fourth Hurdle' Drug Review Comparing Costs and Benefits Holds Lessons for the United States," Health Affairs. 2013.

Chalkidou K, Lopert R, Gerber A. "Paying for ‘End-of-Life’ Drugs in Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom: Balancing Policy, Pragmatism, and Societal Values," The Commonwealth Fund. 2012.

Lopert R, Shoemaker JS, Davidoff A, Shaffer T, Abdulhalim AM, Lloyd J, Stuart B. “Medication adherence and Medicare expenditure among beneficiaries with heart failure.” Am J Manag Care. 2012.

Davidoff A, Lopert R, Stuart B, Shaffer T, Lloyd JT, Shoemaker JS. “Simulated value-based insurance design applied to statin use by Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes.” Value Health. 2012.

Stuart B, Davidoff A, Lopert R, Shaffer T, Samantha Shoemaker J, Lloyd J. “Does medication adherence lower Medicare spending among beneficiaries with diabetes?” Health Serv Res. 2011.

Lopert R, Nolan T. “Child influenza vaccination. Panvax febrile reactions not a predictor.” BMJ. 2010.

Lopert R. “Medicines and Markets: the USA and Australia.” Australian Prescriber. 2009.

Chalkidou K, Tunis S, Lopert R, Rochaix L, Sawicki PT, Nasser M, and Xerri B. “Comparative-Effectiveness Research and Evidence- Based Health Policy: Experience from Four Countries.” Milbank Quarterly. 2009.

Lopert R, Evidence-Based Decision-Making Within Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, The Commonwealth Fund, July 2009.

Morgan S, Lopert R, Greyson D. “Toward a Definition of Pharmaceutical Innovation.” Open Medicine. 2008.

Dor A, Burke T, Whittington R, Clark T, Lopert R, Rosenbaum S. Assessing the Effects of Federal Pediatric Drug Safety Policies. (Washington: George Washington University, 2007)

Lopert R, Rosenbaum S. "What is Fair?  Choice, Fairness and Transparency in Access to Prescription Medicines in the United States and Australia," Journal of Law Medicine and Ethics. 2007.

Lopert R, Moon M. “Toward A Rational, Value-Based Drug Benefit For Medicare.” Health Affairs. 2007.