Dima Mazen Qato, PharmD, MPH, PhD holds the Hygeia Centennial Chair and is a tenured Associate Professor in the Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California where she leads the Program on Medicines and Public Health.
She also serves as a Senior Fellow with the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and holds an affiliated appointment with the USC Spatial Sciences Institute.
Dr. Qato leads research focused on drug utilization, access to medicines, and pharmaceutical policy both in the U.S. and globally to better understand why medications are used, or not used, and how they can and should be used in the population to promote equity, longevity and good health. Her research utilizes population-based methods to better understand the underlying mechanisms responsible for the use, underuse and unsafe use of medications, how these patterns may influence health outcomes and health disparities, and what can be done from a community and policy perspective to address these growing public health problems.
Her research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including JAMA and Health Affairs and has received widespread media coverage, including in The New York Times, NPR, PBS News, Washington Post, The Atlantic, CNN, BBC, and National Geographic. Dr. Qato’s research is funded by various agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and has also influenced local and national policy around medication access and safety. Her seminal study on Pharmacy Deserts has contributed important insights to federal, state and local policy officials on the importance of ensuring equitable pharmacy access in reducing health disparities.
Dr. Qato’s goal is to promote public accountability to better ensure access to, and safe use of, medications at the national, state and local levels. In an effort to achieve this goal, Dr. Qato is interested in incorporating the concept of “essential medicines” in payment and regulatory decision-making in ongoing health care reform.
Prior to joining USC, Dr. Qato was an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy (2012-2020). She also served as a National Academy of Medicine Pharmacy Fellow for 2018-2020.