Gang Fang, PharmD, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Fang’s overall research is centered in the areas of evaluating treatment utilization and outcomes in populations and pharmacoepidemiology especially in cardiovascular disease. His research primarily focuses on estimating real-world comparative treatment effectiveness and safety, identifying optimal treatment strategies, assessing treatment variation in large populations, assessing quality of care related to the treatment variation, medication adherence, and treatment disparities particularly in the elderly and minorities, and developing innovative analytical methods using observational data from large healthcare utilization databases. Since 2009, he was a key co-investigator or principal investigator for studies of total over $7.4 million (close to $2.5 million as PI) funded by AHA, NIH, AHRQ, PCORI in evaluating comparative treatment effectiveness for CVD and advancing analytical methodology for CER.


My overall research is centered in the areas of pharmacoepidemiology and optimal therapeutic strategies in the treatment and prevention, especially for cardiovascular disease (CVD) to improve the quality of care for patients, particularly in the elderly who have considerably higher risk for CVD, multiple comorbidites, needs for multiple treatments, and in the mean time higher risk of adverse side effects from treatments.There is a marked lack of clinical evidence for treatment selection for elderly patients and elderly patients with multiple comorbidties were rarely represented sufficiently in randomized clinical trials.

My long-term research goal is to evaluate real-world treatment utilization and treatment effects and outcomes of different treatment options to provide evidence to support clinical and healthcare policy decision that will improve the quality of care and minimize risk of harm for patients.

My current research includes several areas such as treatment utilization assessment, advanced analytical methods, and optimal treatment strategies. In the assessment of treatment utilization, my research focuses on particularly variations in the use of various treatments in the real world clinical practice. I am a research fellow of the UNC Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Service Research. My research in methodology focuses on developing and validating advanced analytical methods in reducing confounding, especially confounding by indication and the interpretation of treatment effects estimates from different analytical methods under treatment effect heterogeneity using real-world healthcare utilization database. My research in optimal treatment strategies primarily focuses on CVD and key risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes.

I term my research program as ETrUOP — Evaluating Treatment Utilization and Outcomes in Populations. You can visit the ETrUOP research program website for more information.

Research Collaboration

The nature of investigating real-world treatment utilization and outcomes requires a multi-disciplinary approach since decision and choice for the use of a particular treatment are often multifactorial including clinical & prognostic factors, economic factors, insurance, access to care, treatment preference and many other. My research has a strong collaboration with other top researchers at UNC Chapel Hill such as pharmacoepidemiolgoic methodologists and biostatisticians in the Pharmacoepidemiology Program in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, health service researchers in the UNC Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Service Research, and clinicians in the UNC School of Medicine.


  • Rishi J Desai, Jaya K Rao, Richard A Hansen, Gang Fang, Matthew Maciejewski, Joel Farley. Predictors of Treatment Initiation with Tumor Necrosis Factor-? Inhibitors in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. J Manag Care Pharm.2014;20(11):1110-20
  • Rishi J Desai, Jaya K Rao, Richard A Hansen, Gang Fang, Matthew Maciejewski, Joel Farley, Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Inhibitor Treatment and the Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Events in Patients with Early Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Nested Case-control Study. Journal of Rheumatology. 2014 Aug 1. DOI: 10.3899/jrheum.131464
  • Lauffenburger J, Robinson J, Oramasionwu C, Fang G*, Racial/ethnic disparities in the use and patient adherence of evidence-based therapies post AMI. Circulation. 2014; 129: 754-763
  • Fang G*, Robinson J, Lauffenburger J, McClurg M, Brookhart M, Regional variation in patient adherence to evidence-based therapies in older adults post acute myocardial infarction, Medical Care. 2014; 52 (3): 185-193
  • JM Brooks, EA Chrischilles, MB Landrum, KB Wright, G Fang, EP Winer, NL Keating. Survival Implications Associated with Variation in Mastectomy Rates for Early-Staged Breast Cancer.
    International Journal of Surgical Oncology 2012; Volume 2012, Article ID 127854, 9 pages: doi:10.1155/2012/127854
  • Fang G*, Brooks J, and Chrischilles E. Comparison of instrumental variable analysis using a new instrument with risk adjustment methods to reduce confounding by indication. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2012; 38 (11), 1823-1829
  • Fang G*, Brooks J, and Chrischilles E. Apples and oranges? Interpretations of risk adjustment and instrumental variable estimates of treatment effects using observational data. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2012; 175 (1); 60-65
  • Fang G*, Brooks J, and Chrischilles E. A New Method to Isolate Local-area Practice Styles in Prescription Use as the Basis for Instrumental Variables in Comparative Effectiveness Research. Medical Care. 2010;48(8):710-717
  • Brooks J and Fang G. Interpreting treatment-effect estimates with heterogeneity and choice: Simulation model results.Clinical Therapeutics. Apr 2009;31(4):902-919
  • Fang G*, Zuckerman I, Stuart B, Brooks J. Outcomes associated with the use of thiazolidinediones among medicare beneficiaries with type 2 diabetes – an instrumental variable approach. Value in Health 2007;10(3):A13
  • Jared M. Freml, Karen B. Farris, Gang Fang, Jay Currie. Recommendations from Iowa Priority’s Brown Bag Medication Reviews: A comparison of student pharmacists and pharmacists. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2004; 68 (2).
  • Farris KB, Urmie JG, Fang G, Doucette WR, Brooks JM, Klepser D, Fries D and Kuhle C. Population-Based Medication Reviews: A Descriptive Analysis of the Medication Issues Identified in a Medicare Not-For-Profit Prescription Discount Program. Ann Pharmacother. 2004; 38 (11); 1823-1829.
  • Farris, KB. Kumbera, P. Halterman, T. Fang, G. Outcomes-based pharmacist reimbursement: Reimbursing pharmacists for cognitive services (Part 1 of a 2-part series). Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy. 8(5): p 383-393. 2002.