Tara Gomes

MHSc (University of Toronto)

Professional Interests

Pharmaceutical utilization, outcomes and policy with the key objective of rapidly conducting relevant pharmacoepidemiology research for provincial decision-makers to inform drug policy in Ontario.  In particular, my research is focused on using Ontario’s large health administrative databases to conduct observational drug utilization and safety research timely, relevant and responsive to drug policy-makers’ needs.


1) My research in the field of opioid misuse and abuse in Canada has led to 11 peer-reviewed publicationsand 19 reports for policy-makers. Furthermore, these findings have been presented to a wide variety of audiences  nationally and internationally, including public lectures, meetings with provincial, national and international  policy-makers, and other invited presentations. The 2011 Ontario Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, which  targets the safe and appropriate use of opioids, and includes the development of a prescription monitoring  system in Ontario was informed by this research.

2) Based on evidence from the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH), I have conducted a body of research outlining the current use of blood glucose test strips (BGTS) in Ontario, and the potential cost-savings associated with implementation of a variety of focused policy scenarios. These  scenarios were designed to significantly reduce utilization of BGTS while still permitting blood glucose  monitoring by patient groups where their use was supported by evidence. The results of these studies were reported to Ontario’s drug policy makers, and helped drive their formulary reimbursement changes for blood glucose tests trips in 2013.

3) I am the lead Principal Investigator of the ODPRN, a large, provincial network of drug policy researchers from  across Ontario with the aim to foster an innovative drug policy research environment with the capacity to  generate scientifically sound evidence related to drug safety and drug policy. Since 2008, the ODPRN has been extremely productive, completing 98 projects in its first 5 years of operation, 58 of which were policy-driven projects. This work has influenced and informed several drug policies, and with the expansion of our work drug class reviews in 2013, will continue to inform drug policy discussions and decisions in Ontario.