Therapeutics Letter Working Group

Therapeutics Letters on common therapies have been regularly published since 1994 and distributed to physicians and pharmacists in British Columbia to increase awareness and improve prescription habits. The Letters are published bi-monthly and aim to identify problematic therapeutic issues in a brief, simple and practical manner.

The process leading up to publication involves a literature review by different Working Groups of the Therapeutics Initiative, creation of a draft which is circulated for peer review among a sizable group of local, national and international specialists with expertize in the particular therapeutic area and the commission of original artwork/illustration.

Go to the Therapeutics Letter

Membership of the Therapeutics Letter Working Group

Dr Jim WrightDr. James M. Wright, M.D., Ph.D., CRCP(C)

Managing Director and Chair, Therapeutics Initiative
Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics and Medicine, UBC
Clinical Pharmacologist, Vancouver Hospital

James (Jim) Wright is a Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics and Medicine at the University of BC, Vancouver, Canada. He obtained his MD from the University of Alberta in 1968, his FRCP(C) in Internal Medicine in 1975 and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from McGill University in 1976. He is a practicing specialist in Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology. He is also Managing Director of the Therapeutics Initiative, Editor-in-Chief of the Therapeutics Letter and Coordinating Editor of the Cochrane Hypertension Review Group. He sits on the Editorial Boards of the following journals: Open Medicine, PLoS One and the Cochrane Library. Dr. Wright's research focuses on issues related to appropriate use of prescription drugs, Clinical Pharmacology, clinical trials, systematic review, meta-analysis and knowledge translation.
No conflict of interest declared | See TI conflict of interest policy

Dr Barbara MintzesDr. Barbara Mintzes, B.Sc., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Dept of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, UBC
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar

Barbara Mintzes holds a BA in geography from Simon Fraser University and a PhD in health care and epidemiology from the University of British Columbia. She carries out evaluations of drug safety and effectiveness that provide background information for provincial drug financing decisions. She also works as a clinical reviewer with the Common Drug Review.
The focus of her research is pharmaceutical policy, and her main area of expertise is on the effects of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs on prescribing and medicine use. She is also involved in research on the influence of regulatory standards for drug promotion on the quality of information provided. She coordinates a global research project on rational use of medicines with Health Action International, a network of consumer, health and development organizations representing public interests in pharmaceutical policy, and is involved in a collaborative World Health Organization project to develop curriculum for pharmacy and medical students on drug promotion and interactions with the industry. She also works with the Pharmaceutical Policy Unit at UBC’s Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, and is a member of the Steering Group of Women and Health Protection.

No conflict of interest declared | See TI conflict of interest policy

Dr Stan BardalDr. Stan Bardal,. BSc(Pharm), MBA, PhD (Pharmacology).

Senior Instructor, Island Medical Program, UBC
Dr. Bardal is a pharmacologist and faculty member with the UBC medical undergraduate program (MDUP) and the Division of Medical Sciences, University of Victoria, and is the Pharmacology theme director for the MDUP. He lectures frequently in the MDUP, has experience designing curricula and curricular materials, and is co-authoring a pharmacology textbook that will be published by Elsevier in 2011. His research interests include drug policy and pharmacogenomics, as well as basic science pharmacology research in diabetes and angiogenesis.
No conflict of interest declared | See TI conflict of interest policy

Dr Tom PerryDr. Thomas Perry jr, M.D., FRCP

Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC
Clinical Pharmacologist, General Internist, Vancouver Hospital

Thomas L. Perry graduated from McGill University Medical School in 1978. After a rotating internship at Dalhousie University, he started a residency in general internal medicine at UBC, broken by 2 years of locum tenens general practice in isolated communities in B.C., Yukon, and Ontario. After completing his specialty residency and achieving Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, he spent one year on a Medical Research Council fellowship studying metabolism of tricyclic antidepressants with Dr. Leif Bertilsson at the Karolinska Institute Department of Clinical Pharmacology in Stockholm, and a further 2 years at UBC's Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics. Dr. Perry was then elected to the Legislative Assembly of B.C. where he served as Opposition Health Critic from 1989-1991, as Minister for Advanced Education, Training & Technology from 1991-93, and as a government MLA from 1993-96.
Dr. Perry returned to clinical medicine in 1996 and now practices general internal medicine at UBC Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital. He teaches internal medicine in the Department of Medicine Clinical Teaching Unit program at VGH and clinical pharmacology through seminars, lectures and elective student clinical training at UBCH. His outpatient practice focuses on pharmacological treatment of chronic pain and high blood pressure. He has a special interest in the use of videography to teach students and doctors about drugs. He is a member of the Drug Assessment Working Group, and the SIEC and participates frequently in the development of TI Letters.
Dr. Perry's other interests include wilderness canoeing and hiking, environmental conservation, peace and social justice, music, reading, and his family.

Conflict of Interest: Dr. Perry has consulted on a paid basis for Greene & Hoffman (attorneys) of Boston, MA, USA as an expert consultant in clinical pharmacology for a proposed class-action lawsuit against Pfizer Inc. with respect to Neurontin (gabapentin), paid on an hourly rate not contingent upon his opinion. Dr. Perry is a frequent clinical pharmacologic medical legal consultant to the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) and to the Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC), and occasionally to other defence or plaintiff laywers in medical legal litigation, paid on an hourly rate, where the rate and payment are not contingent upon his opinion. See TI conflict of interest policy

Dr. Vijaya Musini, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Dept of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, UBC
Manager, Drug Assessment Working Group, Therapeutics Initiative

Vijaya Musini has conducted and supervised over 200 systematic reviews and meta-analyses on prescription drug therapy. She is an Editor of the Cochrane Hypertension Review Group and has been actively involved in teaching Cochrane Collaboration systematic review methodology and critical appraisal skills on evidence based drug therapy to undergraduate, graduate, medical students and residents. Dr. Musinigraduated from Mumbai University Medical School in 1982. After completing her rotating internship she joined the Department of Community Medicine in 1984 and graduated with a Diploma in Public Health from Mumbai University Medical School in 1985. She has worked as a Family Practitioner and as a Medical Officer in primary health care centres in Mumbai, India for several years. She also worked as a research assistant in the Departments of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, and Health Care and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University. She immigrated to Canada in 1996 and graduated with a Masters Degree in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from the University of British Columbia in 2000.
No conflict of interest declared | See TI conflict of interest policy

Ciprian Jauca, B.A.

Program Coordinator, Therapeutics Initiative, UBC
Ciprian Jauca studied linguistics at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (major in Romance Languages, minor in Germanistic Studies). In 1991 he earned an International Diploma of Business Management and Intercultural Communication from the University of Osnabruck, Germany. He speaks several languages and has worked as translator and interpreter before joining the TI in 1994. He has been the Program Coordinator for the Therapeutics Initiative since its inception in 1994. He created the Therapeutics Initiative website and was its first webmaster from 1996 to 2006. He is involved in the international Cochrane Collaboration and since 2001 he has been the Managing Editor for the Cochrane Hypertension Review Group.
No conflict of interest declared | See TI conflict of interest policy

Maud van Breemen, B.FA., M.F.A

Graphic Designer, Therapeutics Initiative, UBC
Maud graduated from the University of Miami, Florida, USA. She has worked as the graphic design and desktop publisher for the Therapeutics Initiative since 1994. She has also provided assistance during the Drug Therapy Courses.
No conflict of interest declared | See TI conflict of interest policy

Conflict of Interest: Maud van Breemen owns share options in Cardiome Pharma Corp. Cardiome is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (COM) and the NASDAQ Global Market (CRME). See TI conflict of interest policy