About DERP


In the year 2000, the State of Oregon Medicaid program experienced  a 60% increase in Medicaid drug spending in one year. In the face of faltering state revenues, Oregon began looking for ways to limit pharmacy expenditures. The state passed legislation which instituted a preferred drug list (PDL) for which effectiveness of drugs was to be considered first. If drugs were found to be equally effective, considerations would then be given to cost. To obtain the best available information about the effectiveness of drugs on the market, the State of Oregon began collaborating with the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center (Pacific Northwest EPC) to produce systematic reviews of drug classes.

Washington and Idaho were also interested in Oregon’s evidence-based approach toward a PDL, and a collaboration was formed between the three states and the Pacific Northwest EPC. Realizing the utility of shared resources, additional states and non-profit entities joined the collaboration, and the Project was formed in 2003.  It eventually expanded to a national and international effort to provide the best available evidence about pharmaceuticals to policy makers.