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Intern Alum Spotlight: Jennifer Graff

Intern Alumna Jennifer Graff

Over the past 26 years, nearly 200 student pharmacists have taken part in our summer internships. We're pleased to highlight our intern alumni in this recurring feature.

Jennifer Graff, PharmD, is vice president of comparative effectiveness research at the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) a health care policy research organization. Since joining NPC in 2009, she has lead research and policy initiatives to advance the use of high-quality evidence and inform health care decision-making. 

What does a typical day look like?My typical week focuses on conducting research (60%), partnering with other health care organizations (25%), and developing and delivering education (15%). The foundation of my time is spent designing and conducting health policy research to ensure high-quality evidence is available, accepted and used to drive decision-making and to promote formulary and benefits designs that support patient-centered access to appropriate therapies. Partnership activities with other organizations and professional associations allow the National Pharmaceutical Council to advance issues that no single company or health care stakeholder can accomplish on their own. For example, NPC partnered with AMCP to raise awareness on the need for greater clarity and guidance regarding the communication of health care economic information and pre-approval information exchange. Finally, our educational efforts focus on how best to convey the implications of the evolving health care landscape and research results to National Pharmaceutical Council member companies, scientific and policy forums, and the public. 

What types of managed care practices do you use in your work?
As a health policy organization, NPC focuses on identifying good practices for managed care, addressing barriers to the implementation of good practices, and evolving these practices for the 21st century. For example, access to information, including real-world evidence, is growing. Appropriate use of this evidence can help us understand what works best in the real world, inform formulary evaluations, enable novel payment and delivery models, and promote wiser use of health care resources to support sustained innovation and improve patient health. 

How did the Foundation internship prepare you for your career?
The Foundation internship solidified my passion to understand how we can improve the current health care system while ensuring high-quality clinical care is available, accessible, and affordable to individuals, families, and employers. The Internship provided an “aha moment” as I reviewed dossiers describing the value of new medicines and underscored my interest in health economics to encourage efficient care and care delivery. 

Anything else you’d like to add?
The Foundation Internship opened my eyes to the broader health care ecosystem, taught me to ask better questions, and provided the foundation for lasting relationships. Pharmacy is a critical component of the health care system, but our skills are interwoven with sister disciplines of data science, epidemiology, genetics, economics, and behavioral economics. As health care is rapidly evolving, we need to partner and learn from others working towards shared goals. I’m lucky the mentors from my internship in 1999 exposed me to these broader disciplines and remained mentors through the past 20 years. I’m honored to call them my friends today.