Jerry Avorn, M.D., is a professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. An internist, geriatrician, and drug epidemiologist, he studies the intended and adverse effects of prescription drugs, physician prescribing practices, and medication policy. Dr. Avorn pioneered the “academic detailing” approach to continuing medical education, in which non-commercial, evidence-based information about drugs is provided to doctors through educational outreach programs run by public-sector sponsors. Such programs are now in use in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe. He has served as a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Standards for Developing Trustworthy Clinical Practice Guidelines and is the author or co-author of over 400 papers in the medical literature on medication use and its outcomes, and of the book, Powerful Medicines: The Benefits, Risks, and Costs of Prescription Drugs, now in its 11th printing.