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Faculty News

Opioid Researcher J. Douglas Thornton Joins UHCOP's Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy

UH College of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy recently welcomed the addition of Assistant Professor J. Douglas Thornton, Ph.D., Pharm.D., BCPS.

Thornton's primary research interests are focused on safe, effective medication use, and reducing morbidity and mortality associated with chronic opioid therapy and opioid use disorders.

His dissertation research at WVU focused on the transitions within chronic opioid therapy including risks for continued use of opioids, health care costs and use evaluation, and patients access to opioid use disorder medications through community pharmacies.

Thornton graduated magna cum laude from the West Virginia University (WVU) School of Pharmacy and the Honors College with a Pharm.D. and completed a PGY1 pharmacy practice residency at Saint Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, W. Va., where he saw opioid abuse destroying lives and families first-hand.

In addition to being a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS), Thornton earned a Certificate of Advanced Study in Healthcare Administration from the WVU John D. Rockefeller IV School of Policy & Politics and a Certificate in Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Clinical Research from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.

A reviewer for seven journals, he has authored or co-authored journal articles and manuscripts in such publications as the Quality of Life Research Journal, Aging and Mental Health, the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, and Value in Health. During his Ph.D. education, Thornton was a grant recipient of the NIH's Research Training Program in Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences, the Outstanding Graduate Student Award from WVU School of Pharmacy, and a Bronze Medal Abstract recipient from the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.

He also has earned individual honors from the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, including a Distinguished Service Award and Student Travel Grant, as well as serving as president of the WVU ISPOR chapter when it won the Outstanding Student Chapter Award.