Walid F. Gellad, MD, MPH

  • Director, Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing
  • Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine
  • Professor of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health

Dr. Gellad's research focuses on physician prescribing practices and on policy issues affecting access and adherence to medications for patients. He was the recipient of a career development award from the Department of Veterans Affairs to study the quality and efficiency of prescribing in the VA and is currently funded by the VA, NIH, State of Pennsylvania, and private foundations on multiple studies of pharmaceutical policy and prescription use. His work spans clinical areas, from diabetes, to hepatitis c, to prescription drug and substance abuse. His policy area of expertise is prescription drug pricing and spending. He is a former member of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee on nonprescription drugs and FDA Drug Safety Oversight Board. 

Dr. Gellad is board certified in internal medicine and completed a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He sees primary care patients in the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and attends on the inpatient general medical service.

Education & Training

  • BA (Music), Swarthmore College, 1997
  • MD, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2002
  • MPH, Harvard School of Public Health, 2007
  • Residency (Internal Medicine), Brigham and Women's Hospital, 2005
  • Fellowship (General Medicine), Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, 2007
  • Chief Medical Resident, Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, 2008

Representative Publications

Lo-Ciganic WH, Donohue JM, Yang Q, Huang JL, Chang CY, Weiss JC, Guo J, Zhang HH, Cochran G, Gordon AJ, Malone DC, Kwoh CK, Wilson DL, Kuza CC, Gellad WF. Developing and validating a machine-learning algorithm to predict opioid overdose in Medicaid beneficiaries in two US states: A prognostic modelling study. Lancet Digit Health. 2022 Jun;4(6):e455-e465.

This study develops and validates a new algorithm to predict risk of overdose using Medicaid claims data.

Kassir Z, Sarpatwari A, Kocak B, Kuza CC, Gellad WF. Sponsorship and funding for gene therapy trials in the United States. JAMA. 2020;323(9):890-891.

This study characterizes government, academia, and private funding for gene therapy trials in the United States by technology type and therapeutic and disease area.

Hernandez I, San-Jan-Rodriguez A, Good CB, Gellad WF. Changes in list prices, net prices, and discounts for branded drugs in the US, 2007-2018. JAMA. 2020;232(9):854-862.

This retrospective descriptive study found substantial mean increases in list and net prices of branded drugs, with discounts varying across classes but offsetting approximately 62% off list price increases.

Gellad WF, Good CB. Adalimumab and the challenges for biosimilars. JAMA. 2019;322(22):2171-2172.

This analysis uses the example of adalimumab to describe issues with establishing a US biosimilar market.

Gellad WF, Flynn K, Alexander GC. Evaluation of Flibanserin: science and advocacy at the FDA. JAMA. 2015;314(9):869-870.

Three advisory committee members at the FDA meeting discuss the history of flibanserin and provide insight about the regulatory process.

Gellad WF, Grenard JL, Marcum ZA. A systematic review of barriers to medication adherence in the elderly: looking beyond cost and regimen complexity. American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy. 2011;9(1).

A systematic review including 9 studies found that it is difficult to draw conclusions on potential barriers to medication adherence in the elderly because medication nonadherence is not well described, despite being a major cause of morbidity.

Carico, R, Zhao, X, Thorpe, CT, Thorpe, JM, Sileanu, FE, Cashy, JP, Hale, JA, Mor, MK, Radomski, TR, Hausmann, LRM, Donohue, JM, Suda, JK, Stroupe, K, Hanlon, JT, Good, CB, Fine, MJ, Gellad, WF. Receipt of overlapping opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions among veterans dually enrolled in Medicare Part D and the Department of Veterans Affairs: a cross-sectional study. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2018;169(9):593-601.

In a cross-sectional national cohort study of veterans dually enrolled in VA and Medicare, assessment suggested that receipt of prescriptions from both sources was associated with greater risk of overlapping opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions.

Click here for a more complete bibliography of Dr. Gellad's works.

Research Interests

  • Pharmaceutical policy
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Veterans
  • Medicare Part D