Jonathan H Watanabe

Picture of Jonathan H Watanabe
Associate Dean of Pharmacy Assessment and Quality
School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Professor of Clinical Pharmacy
College of Health Sciences
B.S., University of Washington, Zoology
Pharm.D., University of Southern California
M.S., University of Washington Comparative Health Outcomes Policy and Economics Institute
Ph.D., University of Washington Comparative Health Outcomes Policy and Economics Institute
Phone: (858)876-4373
University of California, Irvine

Irvine, CA
Research Interests
Health Policy, Underserved Populations, Health Economics, Outcomes Research, Medications, Opioid Use Disorder, Older Adult Care, Real-World Data, Long-Term Care, Pharmacy, Pharmacist-directed care, Affordability and Access to Care
Inaugural Fellow, University of Washington/Allergan Global Health Economics and Outcomes Research Fellowship, 2007-2009.
Awards and Honors
-National Academy of Medicine (former Institute of Medicine) Anniversary Fellow, 2016-2018
-National Academy of Medicine Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine Scholar, National Academy of Medicine (2018- 2021)
-University of Washington Distinguished Alumnae in Pharmaceutical Science and Research award (2018).
-University of Washington School of Pharmacy "Alumni Legend", School of Pharmacy 125th Anniversary Celebration (2019)
-Distinguished Fellow, non-profit Get the Medications Right Institute (2019 - present)
-NIH Loan Repayment Program Awardee 2016-2018
-Keynote Speaker Chapman University School of Pharmacy Research Day 2021
-Peter P. Lamy Memorial Lecture Award, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists Annual Meeting 2021
-Value Assessment Challenge Award 2020 PhRMA Foundation
-UC San Diego Faculty-in-Residence Cross-Cultural Center (2017-2018)
-Member of the UC Faculty Task Force of the California Health Benefit Review Program
Short Biography
Professor Watanabe is a board-certified geriatrics pharmacist, health economist, and outcomes researcher. He serves as a Member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Forum on Drug, Discovery, Development, and Translation. He is an appointed member of the Board of Directors of the California Geriatrics Society of the American Geriatrics Society. Professor Watanabe has been involved in methods development for pragmatic clinical trials through the FDA-sponsored Real-World Evidence Series and served on the steering committee for the Drug Research Development in Older Adults Workshop. He was appointed to the NASEM Committee on Methadone Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder: Examining Federal Regulations and Laws sponsored by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Professor Watanabe applies real-world data to develop policy solutions to improve patient care, bolster population-health, enhance access and equity for marginalized populations and reduce medical costs. He was a contributor to the NASEM report Making Medicines Affordable: a National Imperative and served on the committee for the Medications in Single-Dose Vials: Implications of Discarded Drugs Report. He has provided briefings to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, United States Senate Finance, Appropriations, House Ways and Means, Senate HELP, and House Energy and Commerce Committee and Briefings to United States House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Staff on the implications of discarded medications and steps to take to reduce wasted medications. Dr. Watanabe's research on health implications of non-optimized medication regimens has been cited in multiple successful state legislative efforts to bolster patient-centered care and medication management, and he has testified before the California Senate Health Panel regarding value of comprehensive medication management services to bolster the health and wellness of Californians enrolled in Medicaid. He is appointed to the Task Force of the California Health Benefits Review Program of the California State Legislature and served on the Advisory Group on Pain Assessment and Management in Long-Term Care Settings for the Joint Commissions. He has been involved in national quality metrics development on long-term care and transitions of care with prior service on the Pharmacy Quality Alliance. He has previously served on the American Academy of Neurology Neurotherapies Workgroup on Pharmacoeconomics. Dr. Watanabe was the first recipient of the University of Washington/Allergan Global Health Economics and Outcomes Research Fellowship. He received his BS from the University of Washington, his PharmD from the University of Southern California, and his MS and PhD from the University of Washington Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute. He is past recipient of the University of Washington Distinguished Alumnae in Pharmaceutical Science and Research award. He is a past National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Anniversary Fellow in Pharmacy sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. He served as a Scholar in the NAM Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine Program and serves as a Distinguished Fellow of the Get the Medications Right Institute. He serves on the journal editorial board for The Senior Care Pharmacist, official journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. He has prior direct-patient care clinical experience at the Medicare-Medicaid Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) program, assisted living, skilled nursing, and long-term care settings.
Making Medicines Affordable: A National Imperative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (ad hoc), Committee on patient access to affordable and effective therapies.
Watanabe JH, McInnis T, Hirsch JD. Cost of prescription drug-related morbidity and mortality. Ann Pharmacother. 2018 Sep;52(9):829-837. doi:10.1177/1060028018765159. Epub 2018 Mar 26. PubMed PMID: 29577766.
Watanabe JH, Kwon J, Nan B, Abeles SR, Jia S, Mehta SR. Medication Use Patterns in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19 in California During the Pandemic. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 May 3;4(5):e2110775. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.10775. PMID: 34019090.
Watanabe JH, Kwon J, Mehta SR. Association of Age and Hospitalization Amongst Those with Underlying High-risk Conditions at COVID-19 Diagnosis in a Large, State-wide Health System. J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Jun 16:1–3. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-06942-y. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34137004; PMCID: PMC8208375.
Hirsch JD, Nguyen MH, Abugazia J, Watanabe JH. Minding the gap and the value of metrics: Count of working pharmacists in the United States. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2022 Dec 13:S1544-3191(22)00409-5. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2022.12.013. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36631343.
Medications in single-dose vials: Implications of discarded drugs. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Qato DM, Watanabe JH, Clark KJ. Federal and State Pharmacy Regulations and Dispensing Barriers to Buprenorphine Access at Retail Pharmacies in the US. JAMA Health Forum. 2022;3(8):e222839. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2022.2839
Watanabe JH, Tarn DM, Hirsch JD. Evolution of precision medicine: applying a population-based evidence assessment repository to achieve patient-centered outcomes at the point of care. International Society for Economics and Outcomes Research Value and Outcomes Spotlight. PATIENTS VS PROCESS The Data and the Drivers Behind Patient-Centered Outcomes Supplement Issue. 2021 Sept;7:S15-S19.
Watanabe JH, Chau DL, Hirsch JD. Federal and individual spending on the 10 costliest medications in Medicare Part D from 2011 to 2015. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 Aug;66(8):1621-1624. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15443. Epub 2018 Jul 4. PubMed PMID:29972589.
Watanabe JH, Simon GE, Horberg M, Platt R, Hernandez A, Califf RM. When Are Treatment Blinding and Treatment Standardization Necessary in Real-World Clinical Trials? Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2021 Apr 8. doi: 10.1002/cpt.2256. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33829639.
Watanabe JH, Kwon J, Nan B, Abeles SR, Mehta SR. Examination of Medication Use Patterns by Age Group, Comorbidity, and Month in COVID-19 Positive Patients in a Large Statewide Health System During the Pandemic in 2020. Journal of Pharmacy Technology. January 2022. doi:10.1177/87551225211068675
Watanabe JH. Senior Care Pharmacists Must Be the Disruptive Force that Reduces Adverse Drug Events in Older People. Sr Care Pharm. 2022 Jul 1;37(7):247-249. doi: 10.4140/TCP.n.2022.247. PMID: 35752921.
Sepassi A, Bounthavong M, Singh RF, Heyman M, Beizai K, Watanabe JH. Risk of Negative Health Outcomes and High Costs for People with Diabetes and Unmet Psychological Needs in the United States. Diabetes Spectr. 2022; ds210019.
Franklin JM, Platt R, Dreyer NA, London AJ, Simon GE, Watanabe JH, Horberg M, Hernandez A, Califf RM. When Can Nonrandomized Studies Support Valid Inference Regarding Effectiveness or Safety of New Medical Treatments? Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2021 Apr 7. doi: 10.1002/cpt.2255. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33826756.
Kazerooni R, Watanabe JH. Comparison of botulinum toxins for treatment of movement disorders: real-world utilization and cost analysis in a national Medicare population. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2021 Apr;27(4):478-487. doi: 10.18553/jmcp.2021.20346. Epub 2021 Jan 29. PMID: 33511895.
Chan K, Sepassi A, Saunders IM, Goodman A, Watanabe JH. Effects of financial toxicity on prescription drug use and mental well-being in cancer patients. Explor Res Clin Soc Pharm. 2022 Apr 14;6:100136. doi: 10.1016/j.rcsop.2022.100136. PMID: 35909716; PMCID: PMC9335927.
Watanabe JH, Lieu T, Shortliffe EH. DISCARDED MEDICATIONS IN VIALS ARE A SYMPTOM OF OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM: A CALL TO ACTION. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2021 May;27(5):689-690. doi: 10.18553/jmcp.2021.27.5.689. PMID: 33908281.
Watanabe JH. Pharmacist-directed care to optimize medication use: a healthcare imperative in the United States. Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2020 Oct;20(5):419-421. doi: 10.1080/14737167.2020.1820865. Epub 2020 Sep 11. PMID: 32902351.
Nguyen HK, Humber D, Checkoway H, Blanchard D, Watanabe JH. Anticoagulant use in high stroke-risk patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Consult Pharm 2018 Sep 1;33(9):521-530. doi: 10.4140/TCP.n.2018.521. PubMed PMID: 30185292.
Watanabe JH. Considerations for propensity score digit match selection and confounder balance in a observational health database analysis. Sage Research Methods Cases.
Davidson JE, Marshall MF, Watanabe JH. Policy impact: when policy fails. Nursing Forum. In-Press. Davidson JE, Marshall MF, Watanabe JH. Policy impact: When policy fails. NursForum. 2019 Aug 20. doi: 10.1111/nuf.12380. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:31432541.
Luli AJ, Bounthavong M, Watanabe JH. Pharmacists on the front-line of solving a public health crisis: Increasing access to medications for opioid use disorder. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2019 Dec 27. pii: S1544-3191(19)30497-2. doi:10.1016/j.japh.2019.10.014. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31889651.
Watanabe JH. Medication use, falls, and fall-related worry in older adults in the United States. Consult Pharm. 2016 Jul;31(7):385-93. doi: 10.4140/TCP.n.2016.385. PubMed PMID: 27412315.
Watanabe JH and Ney JP. Association of increased emergency rooms costs for patients without access to necessary medications. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2014 Oct 31. pii: S1551-7411(14)00337-4. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2014.10.007. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25487421.
Bounthavong M, Watanabe JH, Sullivan K. Approach to addressing missing data for electronic medical records and pharmacy claims data research. Pharmacotherapy. 2015 Apr;35(4):380-7. doi: 10.1002/phar.1569. PubMed PMID: 25884526.
Watanabe JH and Yang J. Hospitalization and combined use of opioids, benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxants in the United States. Hospital Pharmacy. 2019 Dec 18;
Sepassi A and Watanabe JH. Emergency department visits for psychotropic-related adverse drug events in older adults with Alzheimer’s Disease, 2013-2014. Ann Pharmacother. 2019 Jul 25:1060028019866927. doi: 10.1177/1060028019866927. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31342766.
Watanabe JH, Hazlet TK, Sullivan SD. Generic medication utilization policies in the United States and Medicaid sustainability. J Pharm Health Serv Res. 2015. 6: 3–10. doi: 10.1111/jphs.12084
Alfonso-Cristancho R, Andia T, Barbosa T, Watanabe JH. Definition and classification of generics across the world. Appl Health Econ Health Policy. Appl Health Econ Health Policy. 2015 Aug;13 Suppl 1:S5-11. doi: 10.1007/s40258-014-0146-1. PubMed PMID: 26091708; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4519628.
Watanabe JH, Bounthavong M, Chen T. Revisiting the medication possession ratio threshold for adherence in lipid management. Curr Med Res Opin. 2013 Mar;29(3):175-80. doi: 10.1185/03007995.2013.766164. Epub 2013 Feb 1. PubMed PMID: 23320610.
Watanabe JH, Kazerooni R, Bounthavong M. Association of copayment with likelihood and level of adherence in new users of statins: a retrospective cohort study. J Manag Care Pharm. 2014 Jan;20(1):43-50. PubMed PMID: 24372459.
Watanabe JH. Examining the pharmacist labor supply in the United States: Increasing medication use, aging society, and evolution of pharmacy practice. Pharmacy (Basel). 2019 Sep 19;7(3). pii: E137. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy7030137. PubMed PMID: 31546891.
Tam SHY, Hirsch JD, Watanabe JH. Medication regimen complexity in long-term care facilities and adverse drug events-related hospitalizations. Consult Pharm. 2017 May 1;32(5):281-284. doi: 10.4140/TCP.n.2017.281. PubMed PMID: 28483008
Last updated